Franklin Financial executives on Wednesday said the company’s directors have approved its first quarterly dividend and authorized a $30 million share repurchase program.
The dividend declaration of 4 cents per share — it will be payable to investors of record Feb. 15 — will give Franklin Financial a dividend yield of about 0.6 percent. The buyback, meanwhile, would reduce the company’s share count by about 7 percent (Ticker: FSB) if executed in full today.
Franklin Financial’s new initiatives come after similar moves by several other local lenders. Late last year, Pinnacle Financial Partners launched its first buyback while Reliant Bancorp and First Farmers and Merchants lifted their quarterly payouts.
Reliant’s loan portfolio rose about 3 percent during the quarter (and 59 percent for the year) to $1.22 billion and higher yields helped push its net interest margin to 3.82 percent from 3.77 percent in the third quarter.
“We are pleased to report record earnings for the fourth quarter and full year for our company, a testament to the hard work and dedication of our associates,” said DeVan Ard, Jr., Reliant’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our earnings growth was driven by strong loan demand, a stable net interest margin, superior asset quality, and solid core deposit growth at our new banking centers in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga.”