Oil refiner and marketer Western Refining Inc. has increased its quarterly cash dividend for the first quarter of 2014 by 18.1% to 26 cents per share (annualized at $1.04 per share), up from 22 cents per share paid in the fourth quarter of 2013. The new dividend also represents an increase of 116.7% year over year. The dividend is payable to shareholders of record as of Feb 12, 2014 on Feb 27.
The company maintains a long history of dividend payment, making it lucrative for investors looking for a stable income. Additionally, Western Refining has maintained its operational strength which has enabled it to increase its dividend for four consecutive quarters.
Western Refining also announced that it has added $200 million in its share repurchase program. Taking into account about $65 million that remained (as of Dec 2013) from the previous share repurchase authorization, the company now has about $265 million in its share repurchase program.
The company’s commitment toward returning value to shareholders is evident from the already returned $628 million from Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 through share repurchase and dividends.
El Paso, Texas-headquartered Western Refining is an independent refiner and marketer of refined petroleum products in the Southwestern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. The company operates in three segments, Refining, Wholesale and Retail.
Though the company reported disappointing results last quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16 cents, we expect it to bounce back when it reports fourth quarter results on Feb 27. This is evident from the positive Earnings ESP that the company enjoys. Moreover, estimate revisions have also been in its favor.
Western Refining currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), implying it is expected to outperform the broader U.S. market in the next one to three months.
Additionally, one can consider other players from the same industry such as Chicago Rivet & Machine Co. , Global Partners LP (GLP - Free Report) and NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).