Associated Banc-Corp Increases Share Buyback Authorization

Associated Banc-CorpASB has announced the pricing of $100 million of preferred stock offering or 4,000,000 of depositary shares. Each of the company's depositary share represents 1/40th interest in a share of its 5.875% non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, Series E.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the offer is likely to close on Sep 26, 2018. Notably, the liquidation preference for each of the depositary share is $25 per share.

After deducting the underwriting discount and commissions, and some expenses, proceeds from the issuance and sale have been estimated at nearly $97 million, which the company wants to use for the repurchase of its common stock.

Thus, the company's board of directors have authorized an additional share repurchase of up to $200 million of its common stock. Given that $39 million already remained available for repurchase under the previous authorization, now there is $239 million worth of authorization for the company.

Associated Banc-Corp's repurchase of shares is subject to regulatory limitations and can take place through open market purchases, block transactions, private transactions, accelerated share repurchases or similar facilities.

The company's capital deployment activities seem impressive. It has also been raising dividends on a regular basis. The latest hike of 7.1% was announced in February 2018.

Given a strong balance sheet position and earnings strength, the company is expected to continue enhancing shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have gained 12.3% in the past year, underperforming 17.6% growth recorded by the industry .

A few better-ranked stocks worth considering from the same space are Commerce Bancshares, Inc. CBSH , Enterprise Financial Services Corp EFSC and Wintrust Financial Corporation WTFC . Each of these stocks has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Over the past 60 days, Commerce Bancshares' Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has remained stable. Its share price has increased 28.1% over the past year.

Over the past 60 days, Enterprise Financial has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 3.3% for the current year. Its shares have surged 31.7% in the past year.

Wintrust Financial's earnings estimates have been revised upward by nearly 1.3% over the past 60 days. Its shares have rallied 20.6% last year.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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