JPMorgan Chase Hikes Dividend
New York money-center bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM – $87.80) increased its quarterly dividend 4.2% from $0.48 a share to $0.50, a 4.2% boost. The dividend is payable on April 30 to stockholders of record on April 6. The increase brings investors an annualized yield of 2.3% at today’s levels. Chase was able to raise its dividend since its payout ratio is a lot lower than it could afford. Its recent payout of dividends to net profit is about 34%. Dividends have increased approximately 20% over the past five years, and annual increases of 8% or so is in the cards over the next five years. The company has a strong balance sheet and higher interest rates, reduced regulation and a strong merger and acquisition environment should provide some additional tailwind. The shares, not without risk, remain a solid holding.