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Meta Financial (CASH) Announces New 6M Share Buyback Plan

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In a move that enhances Meta Financial Group, Inc.’s (CASH - Free Report) capital deployment activities, the company has announced a share repurchased program, with an authorization capacity of up to 6,000,000 shares.

The buyback program, which was approved by the board of directors, expires on Sep 30, 2024.

The company already has another stock buyback program in place under which it has repurchased 5,949,827 shares of the authorized capacity of 7,500,000. The remaining 1,550,173 shares under the program can be purchased on or before 2022 end.

Management noted, “Our Board of Directors’ decision to approve a new share repurchase authorization reflects the underlying momentum of our business and our continued confidence in the Company’s growth trajectory, consistent with our balanced approach to capital management.”

In addition to the buyback program, Meta Financial pays regular quarterly dividends. The company has been paying dividends of 5 cents per share since 2019. Given its low payout ratio and low debt/equity ratio than the industry, such disbursements seem sustainable.

Meta Financial also has a solid balance sheet and liquidity position. As of Jun 30, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $720.2 million, and an FHLB borrowing capacity of $780 million. Its times interest earned of 26.6 and total debt/total capital of 9.7% at the end of June quarter has improved sequentially over the past two quarters.

Hence, with its earning strength and decent liquidity position, Meta Financial will likely be able to sustain the current level of capital deployments and continue to bolster shareholder returns.

Shares of Meta Financial have gained 4.3% over the past six months against the industry’s decline of 3.4%.

 

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

Similar Moves by Other Banks

Over the past few months, several banks have announced new share-repurchase programs. Some of these are Civista Bancshares, Inc. (CIVB - Free Report) , First Financial Northwest, Inc. (FFNW - Free Report) , and WesBanco, Inc. (WSBC - Free Report) .

Civista Bancshares’ board of directors authorized the buyback of up to an aggregate of $13.5 million of its outstanding shares. The plan will expire on Aug 10, 2022.

First Financial Northwest announced a new share-repurchase program, under which it will buy back about 5% of the outstanding common stock or 476,000 shares.

WesBanco’s board of directors authorized an additional share buyback of up to 3.2 million shares. The program has no expiration date.