Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Intact's dividend intact

Wow, a Canadian financial company just raised their dividend!

It was the Dutch, 'SAVE YOUR MONEY' guy. Insurance firm, ING Canada (IIC), soon to become Intact Insurance Co. has increased it's dividend by 3.2% or 1 cent per share to $0.32/share. Their shares have been cut in half since April of 2006. Recently the dutch firm ING Group has sold it's 70% majority ownership in this company. This came on a day where US insurer Allstate (ALL), a very good past dividend grower, slashed it's dividend by more than half.

ING Canada, with an 11% market share, offers automobile, property and liability insurance to individuals and businesses through its insurance subsidiaries. It is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in the country with more than $4 billion in direct written premiums.

According to ING Canada President and CEO, Charles Brindamour, "the decision to increase our quarterly dividend reflects our objective of returning value to shareholders. With today's announcement, we continue increasing our dividend on a yearly basis. The increase is also a reflection of the strength of our financial position, as well as the quality of our operating earnings." ING Canada reported earlier that at the end of the year2008, it had $427.5 million in excess capital, a minimum capital test ratio of 205% and no debt.

Albeit a small increase, it is very impressive for them to raise their pay out in this environment. ING Canada seems to have a focus on returning value to shareholders in the form of dividends. The stock now yields about 4.3%.


Nurseb911 said...

Every little bit matters in the current market. Not a company I'm interested in the moment, but a path in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

If things get a lot worse I would not be surprised to see insurance companies suffer. In the final analysis insurance is "a luxury" that comes after groceries and a roof over one's head.

Just because a stock is cut in half does not mean it can't be reduced by half again or more.

MG (moneygardener) said...

Insurance is a luxury? How so?

Anonymous said...

It really feels like dividends are under attack from all sides. I recently had to abandon Russel Metals after their cut. I've moved to option strategies to create my own dividend because I simply can't trust anything except maybe PG or JNJ right now(and even JNJ is under attack from the new gov't)

So far commercial reits holding contracts on companies like WMT look reasonably safe but we shall see.