Popular Bumps Up Quarterly Dividend By 12.5%, Boosts Stock Buyback Program

Shares of Popular Inc. rose 1.3% on April 12 after the Puerto Rico-based bank raised its quarterly stock dividend by 12.5% to $0.45 per share. The company previously increased the dividend by 33.3% to $0.40 per share in March 2020.

Popular (BPOP) said that the new dividend, which awaits the board of directors’ approval, will be paid in the third quarter of 2021.

The company’s annual dividend of $6.60 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 2.48%.

The company also announced a new stock repurchase program of up to $350 million during 2021. (See Popular stock analysis on TipRanks)

Popular CEO Ignacio Alvarez said, “Our capital actions demonstrate Popular’s resiliency in times of uncertainty and our commitment to continue to return excess capital responsibly to our shareholders …While we do not expect further dividend increases and common stock repurchases in 2021, we will continue to explore opportunities to manage our capital structure during the remainder of 2021 and in future periods.”

On March 31, UBS analyst Brock Vandervliet increased the stock’s price target to $85 (17.3% upside potential) from $79 and maintained a Buy rating.

Popular shares have exploded more than 98% over the past year, while the stock still scores a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on 3 unanimous Buys. That’s alongside an average analyst price target of $79, which implies 9% upside potential to current levels.

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