The directors of Reliant Bancorp have voted to boost the company’s dividend by 20 percent and buy back up to $10 million of its stock.
Word of the shareholder return plans comes shortly after Chairman and CEO DeVan Ard Jr. and his team reported strong fourth-quarter profits and said they’re expecting solid growth in 2021. The quarterly dividend hike to 12 cents per share comes after two years in which the Reliant board pushed up the payout by a penny per quarter. Effective for shareholders of record on Feb. 8, it will lift the stock’s dividend to about 2.3 percent based on Tuesday’s closing price (Ticker: RBNC).
The $10 million repurchase plan runs through Dec. 31 and, if fully exercised, would reduce Reliant’s share count by about 3 percent. The board’s approval of it comes nine months after suspended a previous $15 million to preserve cash due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s arrival in Tennessee. Reliant did not buy back any of its stock in 2019.
“We enter 2021 with a much stronger bank than this time last year with the successful assimilation of the two banks we acquired and expanded market opportunities in the greater Nashville market,” Ard said in a statement about the dividend. “We expect economic activity to pick up as the pandemic subsides and drive growth in 2021."