Avient Hikes Dividend By 5% On Strong Business

Avient Corporation has hiked its quarterly dividend by about 5% to $0.2125 per share bringing the annualized dividend to $0.85 per share.

The hike marks the tenth consecutive annual increase in Avient’s (AVNT) dividends. The new dividend will be paid on Jan.8, 2021 to stockholders of record on Dec. 18, 2020.

Avient’s Chairman and CEO Robert M. Patterson stated, “We are pleased to increase our dividend for the tenth consecutive year. This is a direct result of expanding earnings and increasing free cash flow over the last decade and reflects our ongoing commitment to return cash to shareholders.”

The CEO added, “Most importantly, we are confident in our future earnings growth potential. As we reported in September, we are seeing early signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and expect demand conditions will continue to improve.”

Patterson also said that the company is gaining from its recent acquisition of Clariant Masterbatch and early synergy benefits. The company, which was formerly called PolyOne, completed the acquisition of color masterbatch businesses of Clariant and Clariant Chemicals India Ltd. on July 1 and changed its name to Avient.

Last month, Avient announced strong preliminary numbers for the third quarter. Following the update, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch reiterated a Buy rating with a price target of $37 for Avient, stating “We are also encouraged by management’s updated outlook for acquisition cost synergies, reflecting a 25% increase vs. its initial expectations.”

“We continue to view AVNT as a key partner in helping its customers meet sustainability and performance goals and remain constructive on shares with this positive print.” (See AVNT stock analysis on TipRanks)

Avient stock has declined about 13% so far this year but the average analyst price target of $35 implies an upside potential of 9.2% in the coming months. The Street has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus for Avient with 6 Buys, 3 Holds and no Sells.

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