In a concerted effort to share more profits with stockholders, Everest Re Group, Ltd. 's RE board of directors has approved an 8% hike in its quarterly dividend. The company will now make a quarterly payout of $1.40 per share compared with $1.30 per share paid on Sep 19, 2018. Shareholders of record as of Nov 28 will be rewarded with this meatier dividend on or before Dec 12, 2018.
Prior to this, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 4% to $1.30 per share last November. Historically, it boasts a consistent increase in dividends with the metric witnessing a five-year CAGR (2013-2018) of 23.9%. The increased payout translates into a dividend yield of 2.43%, slightly better than the industry average of 2.39%.
The company has been increasing its payout each year and the recent dividend hike signifies its commitment toward a prudent capital management, reflecting its sustained operational performance over a period of time. In fact, the dividends paid to shareholders have increased 2.7x since the third quarter of 2013.
The company's solid financial status provides enough support to engage in shareholder-friendly moves like dividend hikes and share buyback authorization. Since 2006, the company has successfully returned $3.4 billion to its shareholders.
Driven by a robust capital position with sufficient liquidity and strong cash flows, the property and casualty (P&C) insurer has been making consistent efforts to improve its long-term shareholder value and steadily focus on a steady profitable growth track. Further, a strong financial position lends enough support to the company to pursue strategic initiatives.
Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) P&C insurer have underperformed the industry year to date. The stock has lost 4.1% against the industry's increase of 6.9%. We expect a compelling product portfolio, strategic initiatives, better investment results and a solid capital position to turn the stock around in the near term.
Recently, the board members of Assurant, Inc. AIZ approved a 7% hike in its quarterly dividend. The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share compared with 56 cents paid on Sep 18, 2018.
Stocks That Warrant a Look
Some better-ranked stocks from the same space are W.R. Berkley Corporation WRB and The Progressive Corporation PGR , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
W.R. Berkley operates as a commercial lines writer in the United States and internationally. The company delivered positive surprises in all the trailing four reported quarters, the average being 17.73%.
Progressive Corporation provides personal and commercial auto insurance, residential property insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States. The company came up with positive surprises in the preceding four reported quarters, the average being 13.48%.
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