It has posted two straight quarterly profits, but that progress by Synovus Financial Corp. isn’t enough for the regional bank to bump up its dividend beyond a penny.
The Columbus-based company said today it will pay 1 cent per share on April 2 to those owning its common stock as of March 15. It marks the 12th straight quarter that Synovus has paid that amount to investors in its stock.
The bank, which continues to purge loan losses from its books, began cutting its dividend in late 2008, lowering it from 17 cents to 6 cents per share. The dividend was first cut to a penny in April 2009.
After three years of financial losses, the company recorded a surprise third-quarter profit of $15.7 million, then followed that with a $12.8 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2011.
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Synovus President and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling has consistently said a higher dividend will come only when the bank’s earnings rise and it repays the $968 million it owes the federal government through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Synovus, parent company of Columbus Bank and Trust, oversees $27 billion in assets through its divisions in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.