Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) rallied 2.2% in afternoon trading Tuesday, after Ohio-based bank said it was increasing its dividend by 9% and setting a new 100 million share repurchase program. The new quarterly dividend of 24 cents a share, up from 22 cents, will be payable July 15 to shareholders of record on June 28. Based on current stock prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 3.48%, well above the yield for the SPDR S&P Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF) of 1.92% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.97%, according to FactSet. The banker said the new share buyback program replaces the previous program that had 22 million shares remaining. The current program represents about 13.6% of the shares outstanding. The stock has rallied 17.2% year to date, while the financial ETF has climbed 14.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.5%.
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