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United Bankshares Rewards Investors With 3% Dividend Hike

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United Bankshares, Inc. (UBSI - Free Report) has raised its quarterly common stock dividend by 3% to 35 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Jan 2, 2020, to shareholders of record as of Dec 13, 2019. Notably, this is the 46th time that the company has increased its dividend.

United Bankshares’ robust business model highlights the company’s commitment toward returning value to shareholders with its strong cash-generation capabilities. Prior to the latest revision, the company had raised its quarterly dividend to 34 cents per share last November, marking a 3% hike.

Considering last day’s closing price of $39.51 per share, the dividend yield is currently valued at 3.54%.

We believe, despite intense competition, the company has a significant long-term upside potential based on its focused diversified portfolios, style consistency and fundamental research.

As of Sep 30, 2019, United Bankshares has substantial liquidity with cash and cash equivalents of about $976.2 million, which supports its ability to continue investing in the future.

The company’s shares have gained around 27% year to date compared with 20.1% growth recorded by the industry.

Investors interested in this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock can have a look at the bank’s fundamentals and growth opportunities. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Revenue Strength: United Bankshares’ sales witnessed a compounded annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 19.4%, over the last four years (2015-2018). The sturdy top-line improvement has been backed by solid loan and deposit growth.

Additionally, the company’s projected sales growth of 1.18% for 2019 (against nil industry average) ensures continuation of the upward revenue trend.

Earnings per Share Growth: United Bankshares registered 6.09% growth in earnings per share over the last three to five years. Notably, earnings are estimated to grow at a rate of 4.49% for 2019. Further, it recorded average positive earnings surprise of 1.58%, over the last four trailing quarters.

Rising Expenses: Mounting non-interest expenses pose a concern for the company. The company’s non-interest expense witnessed a CAGR of 16.6% over the last four years (2015-2018). As the company continues to invest in franchise, overall expenses are expected to remain elevated.

Our Take

Based on the above-mentioned factors, it seems to be a wise decision to add United Bankshares stock to your investment portfolio.

In addition, its Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings has been revised 1.2% upward, over the past 30 days.

Some other finance stocks which raised their dividends during the past three months include Bank OZK (OZK - Free Report) , Eaton Vance Corp. and Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI - Free Report) .  Bank OZK raised its quarterly dividend by 4.17%, while Eaton Vance increased by 7.1%. Glacier Bancorp has also announced a 7.41% rise in its common stock dividend.

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