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Primerica Hikes Quarterly Dividend

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The board of directors of Primerica, Inc. (PRI - Free Report) approved a 9% increase in its quarterly cash dividend. The life insurer will now pay a quarterly dividend of 12 cents per share against 11 cents a share distributed previously. The increased dividend will be paid on Mar 10, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Feb 20.

The newly increased quarterly dividend is equivalent to an annual dividend of 48 cents per share. Based on Friday’s closing share price of $40.84, the increased dividend implies a yield of 1.18%.

Primerica’s sturdy financial position, supported by a strong cash balance and retained earnings, cushion its robust capital deployment activity. The company had cash and cash equivalents of $147.5 million as of third-quarter 2013 end, which increased 31.4% over 2012-end.

Moreover, Primerica’s retained earnings stood solid at $609.8 million as of Sep 30, 2013 increasing 21.2% from 2012-end. Since 2010, Primerica has increased its quarterly dividend at a 4-year CAGR of 86.1%.

Based on nearly 55 million shares outstanding as of Sep 30, 2013, Primerica will have to dish out nearly $6.6 million for the quarterly dividend payout.

Primerica is set to release its fourth-quarter and full year 2013 financial results soon. The Zacks Consensus estimate for the fourth quarter and full year is currently pegged at 78 cents and $2.92 per share respectively. The estimates translate o a year over year increase of 13.3% and 4.3%.

Among the other life insurers, on Nov 14, 2013, the board of Lincoln National Corp. (LNC - Free Report) hiked its regular quarterly dividend by 33% to 16 cents per share, from the prior 12 cents a share. The raised dividend was paid on Feb 1, 2014.

Primerica presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space are Aviva plc , China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (LFC - Free Report) . While Aviva plc sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), China Life Insurance carries the same Zacks Rank as Primerica.

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