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Assurant (AIZ) Hikes Dividend to Boost Shareholder Value

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Assurant, Inc.’s (AIZ - Free Report) board of directors recently approved a 5% hike in its quarterly dividend. The company will now pay out a quarterly dividend of 63 cents per share compared with 60 cents paid out on Sep 16, 2019.Shareholders of record as of Nov 25 will be paid with the dividend on Dec 16, 2019.

Prior to this, the company raised quarterly dividend by 7% to 60 cents per share last November. Notably, the company has consistently hiked its dividend with the metric witnessing a five-year CAGR (2013-2018) of 11.8%.However, the current dividend yield is 1.8%, lower than the industry average of 5.8%.

The company has been increasing its payout each year since December 2017. The recent dividend hike highlights the company’s commitment toward prudent capital management, reflecting its sustained operational performance over a period of time.

The company’s solid capital position supports effective capital deploymentlike dividend hikes and share buyback authorization. The company currently has a share repurchase authorization worth $578 million. By the end of 2021, the company’s intends to return $1.35 billion to shareholders along with common stock dividends.

For the full-year 2019, Assurantexpects dividends from segment operating earnings. The company brought up nearly 90% of segment net operating earnings as dividends to the holding company through the first nine months of the year. Overall, these dividends should provide the company with flexibility to invest in businesses and return capital to shareholders.

Assurant consistent dividend payments, makes it an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors. Given its ongoing favourable operating performance, we expect the company to continue with its dividend track record, which in turn will continue to enhance shareholder value.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) multi-line insurer have outperformed the industry year to date. The stock has gained 46.1% outperforming the industry’s rally of 13.7%. We expect higher revenues, strategic initiatives and a solid capital position to drive the shares higher in the near term.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the same space are Kemper Corporation (KMPR - Free Report) , EverQuote, Inc. (EVER - Free Report) and MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG - Free Report) .  While Kemper Corporation sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), EverQuote, Inc. and MGIC Investment Corporation carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kemper Corporation provides property and casualty, and life and health insurance to individuals and businesses in the United States. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 16.40%.

EverQuote Incorporation offers consumers shopping for auto, home, and life insurance quotes. It serves carriers, agents, financial advisors, and indirect distributors and aggregators. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 84.25%.

MGIC Investment provides private mortgage insurance and ancillary services to lenders and government-sponsored entities in the United States. The company outpacedthe Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 12.63%.

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