In a concerted effort to share more profits with shareholders, the board of directors of Horace Mann Educators Corporation (HMN - Free Report) has approved a 3.6% hike in its quarterly dividend. The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 28.5 cents per share compared with 27.5 cents paid on Dec 29, 2017. Shareholders of record as of Mar 19 will now be rewarded with the meatier dividend in their pockets on Mar 30, 2018.
Notably, the increased dividend denotes an annualized payout of $1.14 per share. Further, the company’s current dividend yield is 2.7%, which is slightly better than the industry average of 2.5%.
Prior to this, in Mar 2017, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 3.8% to 27.5 cents per share. Historically, the company boasts a diligent increase in dividends with the metric having witnessed a six-year CAGR (2012-2018) of 14%.
The recent dividend hike represents the company’s 10th consecutive yearly increase, thereby reflecting the Multi line insurer’s solid operational performance in 2017. Moreover, the company’s solid financial position provides enough support to participate in shareholder-friendly moves like dividend hikes and share buyback authorization. In fact, Horace Mann’s annualized 2017 shareholder dividend of $1.10 per share reflects a 4% rise from the same in 2016 with total dividends paid amounting to $46.1 million in the year.
Banking on a robust capital position with sufficient liquidity and strong cash flows, Horace Mann has been consistently making efforts in improving long-tern shareholder value and remains focused on sustained profitable growth.
Apart from approving dividend hikes, the company has been authorizing share repurchase programs and has bought back shares worth $72.2 million since December 2011.
Such steadfast endeavors instill confidence among investors and make it an attractive pick for yield seeking investors. We expect the company to indulge in such measures in the near term as well, which will continue to enhance the shareholder value.
Zacks Rank and Share Price Movement
Horace Mann carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. The stock has gained 2.5% compared with the industry’s increase of 4.0%. However, we expect sustained operational performance, strategic initiatives and a solid financial position to help rebound the stock shortly.
Recently, the board of Chubb Limited (CB - Free Report) has announced its intention to propose a 2.8% increase in annual dividend while Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company’s (WLTW - Free Report) board members have hiked the company’s quarterly dividend by 13%. Also, Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC - Free Report) has approved a 7% raise in its quarterly payout.
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