Today Aflac (AFL), Marshall & Illsley (MI) and Legg Mason (LM) all announced dividend increases.
- AFL made it three in a row, that is, the third straight quarter Aflac has increased its quarterly dividend. The 57.7% YOY increase compares to AFL's 5-year average dividend growth rate of 22%.
- AFL's dividend in the 1st quarter of 2006 equaled 6 cents per share versus the recently announced quarterly dividend of 20.5 cents per share.
- In today's the earnings release Aflac reported that operating earnings in the first quarter of 2007 were $407 million versus $364 million in the first quarter of 2006. Per diluted share operating earnings rose 13.9% in the quarter to 82 cents versus 72 cents a year ago. The weaker yen/dollar exchange rate lowered operating earnings per diluted share by 1 cent during the quarter. Excluding the currency impact operating earnings per share increased 15.3%.
- The 5-Year average payout ratio is approximately 17%.
- The company repurchased 5.1 million shares of its stock in the first quarter. The company still has 32 million shares available to be repurchased under a share repurchase program approved by AFL's board.
Marshall & Illsley:
- MI increased its quarterly dividend 14.8% to 31 cents per share versus 27 cents per share in the same quarter last year.
- The 5-year historical dividend growth rate is 14%.
- MI's 5-year average payout ratio equals 30%. The estimated 2007 payout ratio is approximately 36% based on 2007 estimated earnings of $3.42.
- LM increased its quarterly dividend 33.3% to 24 cents per share versus 18 cents per share in the same quarter last year. This increase came one quarter early. Legg Mason typically increases its dividend in the 3rd quarter of a calendar year.
- LM's 5-year historical dividend growth rate is approximately 29%
- LM's 5-year average payout ratio equals 18%. The estimated 2007 payout ratio is approximately 18% based on 2007 estimated calendar year earnings of $5.20.
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