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Popular (BPOP) Announces Capital Deployment Plan for 2020

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Following an approval from the Federal Reserve System, Popular, Inc. (BPOP - Free Report) recently announced its 2020 capital deployment plan, which includes dividend hike and share repurchases. Per the plan, the company will buy back shares up to a value of $500 million. Also, the bank plans to raise the quarterly dividend from 30 to 40 cents per share, starting the second quarter of 2020.

Ignacio Alvarez, president & CEO of Popular, noted “This increase in capital return to our shareholders reflects Popular’s strong financial and capital position. We remain focused on executing our strategic initiatives in order to continue driving long-term shareholder returns."

Along with this, Popular announced the completion of the accelerated share repurchase transaction worth $250 million, which was announced in February 2019, on Dec 12, 2019. As part of this agreement, the bank received an initial delivery of 3.5 million shares during the first quarter of 2019. On the day of completion, it received nearly 1.2 million shares. The shares were repurchased at an average price of $53.58.

Since 2015, Popular has been paying dividends consistently. Prior to the above-mentioned hike, the bank had raised its dividend from 25 to 30 cents per share in the second quarter of 2019. Given a robust capital position as well as no debt burden, the company is expected to sustain its capital deployment activities.

On the price front, shares of Popular have rallied 23.3%, outperforming the industry’s rise of 14.4% over the past year.

Apart from Popular, there are several banks that have rewarded shareholders with dividend hikes and share repurchases over the past three months. Some of these include Civista Bancshares Inc. (CIVB - Free Report) , Bank OZK (OZK - Free Report) , BancorpSouth Bank (BXS - Free Report) and Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI - Free Report) .  All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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