HarborOne Bumps Up Quarterly Dividend By 66.7%; Shares Gain 2%

Shares of HarborOne Bancorp inched up 2.1% after the bank increased its quarterly cash dividend by 66.7% to $0.05 per share. Notably, HarborOne initiated its quarterly dividend payout at $0.03 in July 2020.

HarborOne (HONE) announced that the new dividend will be paid on April 28 to shareholders of record as of April 14.

The company’s annual dividend of $0.20 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 1.45%.

HarborOne CEO James W. Blake commented, “The dividend increase is well supported by our current and projected earnings as we continue executing our business plan.”

In January, HarborOne reported 4Q results. The company’s 4Q earnings more than tripled on a year-over-year basis to $0.33 per share and outpaced Street estimates of $0.22. Net interest and dividend income jumped 15.6% to $32.8 million. Net interest margin came in at 3.22%, up 14 basis points. (See HarborOne stock analysis on TipRanks)

On March 5, D.A. Davidson analyst David Bishop upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and increased the price target to $15 (9.1% upside potential) from $12.

Bishop cited short-term catalysts, which include upward revisions to the margin, “modest” asset sensitivity, and a below-peer contribution of securities, with the management likely to deploy excess cash into securities and buybacks, as reasons for the upgrade. Furthermore, the analyst foresees longer-term catalysts for the company, which include a strong 2022 loan growth, and the expiration of the 3-year moratorium from a sale of the company.

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 1 Buy and 1 Hold. The average analyst price target of $13.50 implies 1.8% downside potential to current levels. Shares have jumped 65.5% over the past six months.

HarborOne scores a 9 of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

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