Commonwealth Bank’s 6,000-plus shareholders received some extra Christmas cheer this year as the Bank declared and paid an extraordinary dividend of 2 cents per share on December 22 nd to shareholders of record of the same date. The extraordinary dividend pay-out comes less than two months after a stock split in October this year, which resulted in a sharp increase in the traded value of the shares to over $4.90 from the $3.83 at the time of the split. Executive Chairman William B Sands Jr. noted that “Along with regular quarterly dividends, the Bank will pay a total of $.10 per share in fiscal 2017, nearly $30 million in value.” He added that “Based on the Bank’s strong capital position, the Board has approved increasing the common share payout ratio from the historic 65% to 75% of net income after payment of the preference share dividend. The slow growth in the economy means that the Bank is well positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities that are available without having to retain such a high level of current year earnings.”
Since the largest Bahamian Bank went public in the year 2000, it has consistently shared its success with its shareholders through quarterly dividends and in most years, at least one additional extraordinary dividend, a combination that has helped build stock retention, bank loyalty, and share value, even during economically challenging periods. The Bank recently released its third-quarter results, reporting $39.7 million in Comprehensive Net Income for the first nine months of the fiscal year. The Bank has assets of B$1.7 billion, is capitalized at levels far exceeding Central Bank requirements and is running at one-third of the industry standard for non-performing or impaired loans. Executive Chairman William B. Sands, Jr., said Commonwealth Bank remains “cautiously optimistic” about the economy as the Bank prepares for 2018.