6 big stock buybacks and dividends: First Republic halts payout | Pro Recap
By Davit Kirakosyan
Investing.com -- Here is your Pro Recap of the biggest share buybacks and dividend headlines you may have missed over the past week.
First Republic Bank suspends dividend, downgraded on unprecedented uncertainty
First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) announced on Thursday a suspension of its common stock dividend as it is going through a period of recovery, being focused on reducing its borrowings and evaluating the composition and size of its balance sheet going forward.
Shares plunged more than 32% on Friday and were trading 20% lower pre-market today.
Atlantic Equities downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight given the lack of clarity and unprecedented uncertainty surrounding the bank. The firm added that its adjusted EPS forecasts are declining by 95% in fiscal 2023 and by 94% next year, "even assuming costs decline by 9-12% over the next two years."
"Management is exploring different strategic options which may include a full sale or divestments of parts of the loan portfolio," the firm said. "The limited information provided implies that the balance sheet has increased substantially, which may well necessitate a capital raise."
Meanwhile, Wedbush downgraded the bank to Neutral from Outperform. On contrary, JPMorgan reiterated its Overweight rating and the Top Pick designation, noting it is growing increasingly more positive on the stock after the largest U.S. banks - Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ), Citigroup (NYSE: C ), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) among others - committed $30 billion in uninsured deposits to boost First Republic's liquidity.
The company's shares fell more than 71% last week.
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Applied Materials raises dividend, announces new $10B buyback
Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT ) hiked its dividend by 23.1% to $0.32 per share, or $1.28 annualized, with an annual yield of 1.1%. The dividend will be payable on June 15, 2023, to stockholders of record on May 25, 2023, with an ex-dividend date of May 24, 2023.
Also, the company announced a new $10B share repurchase programs, which supplements the previous authorization with $4.7B remaining at the end of Q1/23.
Shares closed the week with more than a 7% gain.
Williams-Sonoma raises dividend, approves $1B buyback program
Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM ) hiked its dividend by 15% to $0.90 per share, payable on May 26, 2023, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 21, 2023. It also approved a new $1B stock repurchase program, which supersedes its current stock repurchase authorization.
The company announced its Q4 results on Thursday, with EPS of $5.50 coming in better than the consensus estimate of $5.46, while revenues of $2.45B missed the consensus estimate of $2.6B.
Shares fell more than 3% last week.
3 more buybacks and dividends
Ferguson (NYSE: FERG ) announced that, in continuation of its $2.5B share repurchase program, it has entered into an irrevocable and non-discretionary arrangement with its brokers Barclays Capital Securities and Barclays Capital commencing from March 15, 2023, and ending no later than June 15, 2023.
Shares fell more than 4% last week.
Espey Mfg & Electronics (NYSE: ESP ) reinstated its dividend of $0.10 per share, or $0.4 annualized, for an annual yield of 2.1%. The dividend will be payable on March 31, 2023, to stockholders of record on March 24, 2023, with an ex-dividend date of March 23, 2023.
Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY ) cut its dividend by 26.1% to $0.65 per share, or $2.6 annualized, for an annual yield of 13.7%. The dividend will be payable on April 28, 2023, to stockholders of record on March 31, 2023, with an ex-dividend date of March 30, 2023.
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