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Fulton Financial (FULT) Rewards Investors With Special Dividend

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Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT - Free Report) announced a special dividend of 4 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Dec 17 to shareholders of record as of Dec 7.

In fact, it has been announcing special dividend annually since 2014.

Additionally, Fulton Financial pays a regular quarterly cash dividend of 13 cents per share. Based on last day’s closing price of $13.12, the company’s dividend yield currently stands at 3.96%. The yield is impressive compared with the industry average of 2.23%. This yield is not only attractive for income investors but also represents a steady income stream.

Further, in October 2019, Fulton Financial announced a share buyback program authorizing the repurchase of $100 million worth of shares. The plan is set to expire in December 2020. As of Sep 30, 2020, there was nearly $60.3 million available under the authorization. While the company had been actively repurchasing shares, the same was suspended in mid-March to preserve liquidity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sep 30, 2020, Fulton Financial had a solid balance sheet and capital position. Total debt amounted to $1.91 billion, while cash and cash equivalents were $1.53 billion. Nonetheless, the company doesn’t have any near-term maturities. Additionally, its times interest earned and total debt/total capital of 5.7 and 35.2%, respectively, has shown sequential improvements.

These apart, earnings strength indicates that Fulton Financial’s capital deployments seem sustainable and will continue to enhance shareholder value.

Shares of Fulton Financial have rallied 31.7% over the past three months, outperforming the industry’s 23.7% gain.

Currently, Fulton Financial carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Finance Stocks That Took Similar Action

Over the past month, a few other finance companies have undertaken efforts to reward shareholders by announcing special dividend. Some of these include Cohen & Steers (CNS - Free Report) , Waterstone Financial (WSBF - Free Report) and Eaton Vance (EV - Free Report) .

Cohen & Steers declared a special dividend of $1 per share, which is payable on Dec 1 to shareholders of record as of Nov 16. Waterstone Financial announced a special dividend of 30 cents per share, which will be paid out on Dec 8 to shareholders on record as of Dec 1. For Eaton Vance, a special dividend of $4.25 per share was announced, which is to be paid out on Dec 18 to shareholders of record on Dec 4.

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