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TFS Financial (TFSL) Hikes Dividend: Is it Worth Buying?

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TFS Financial Corporation’s (TFSL - Free Report) board of directors has approved a 0.9% increase in the company’s quarterly dividend to 28.25 cents per share from 28 cents per share. The hiked dividend will be paid on Sep 21, to stockholders of record as on Sep 7, 2021.

Based on the raised rate, the annual dividend came to $1.13 per share, resulting in an annualized yield of 5.82%, considering the company’s closing price of $19.43 on Aug 26.

TFS Financial announced its first quarterly dividend in February 2008. However, the company suspended dividend payments from 2010 to 2014 due to some regulatory issues. Later, management resumed dividend payments in September 2014. Notably, the dividend of 10 cents per share rewarded by the company in August 2015 marked the biggest amount announced by TFS Financial since it went public in 2007.

TFS Financial’s capital-deployment activities look impressive. While the company’s ongoing eighth repurchase program, with the $10-million authorization, had earlier been suspended as part of the response to the pandemic, the same was reinstated in February 2021.

During the nine-month period ended Jun 30, 2021, the company did not repurchase any shares of its common stock. In total, 4,108,921 shares were repurchased under that program since its commencement in January 2017 through Jun 30, 2021.

Nonetheless, the company continues to focus more on dividends in its capital-deployment evaluation.

The company’s shares have dipped 2.7% in the past six months, against the industry’s rise of 0.6%. Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Zacks Investment Research
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While such favorable developments make banks attractive to investors, let’s see whether it is worth considering TFS Financial stock based on the dividend income. Deeper research into the bank’s financial performance and fundamentals will help understand the risks and rewards.

TFS Financial has a strong capital position. As of Jun 30, 2021, its Tier 1 leverage ratio was 12.39%, Common Equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 ratios were 23.07% and total capital ratio was 23.65%, all surpassing the minimum requirements under the fully phased-in Basel III Rules. Moreover, cash & cash equivalents totaled $580.1 million, reflecting an increase of 16.5% from the Sep 30, 2020 level.

TFS Financial has a solid balance sheet as well. As of Jun 30, 2021, the company had total debt worth $3.14 billion, and cash and cash equivalents of $580.1 million. Moreover, the company’s total debt/total capital ratio of 64.8% in third-quarter fiscal 2021 reflects sequential improvement. Thus, given a robust liquidity position and decent earnings strength, TFS Financial’s capital-deployment activities are likely to be sustainable.

We believe the company’s strategy to operate as a well-capitalized and profitable financial institution will boost growth as well as shareholders’ confidence. TFS Financial’s robust capital levels and adequate access to alternative funding sources will likely help it pursue and nurture customer and market confidence.

With a strong capital position and steady liquidity levels, TFS Financial is expected to continue enhancing shareholders’ value in the upcoming period.

Competitive Landscape

In the past few months, several finance companies have raised their quarterly dividends.

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (VRTS - Free Report) has increased its regular quarterly cash dividend. The company announced a dividend of $1.50 per share, marking an 83% hike from the prior payout.

Bank OZK (OZK - Free Report) has hiked its quarterly dividend by 1.8% to 28.5 cents per share while Associated Banc-Corp (ASB - Free Report) announced a dividend of 20 cents per share, representing an increase of 11.1% from the prior payout.