Fulton Financial (FULT - Get Report) operates a handful of community bank brands centered in the Mid-Atlantic region, comprising 260 branches between them. Despite the different brands under the Fulton umbrella, the firm boasts similar operations to any mid-sized regional bank; margins weigh in close to 20% and the firm boasts reasonably strong financial health.
While Fulton's model isn't the norm in the regional banking business, it's an attractive structure because it enables the firm to distance itself from the big-bank negatives without sacrificing the financial wherewithal of a larger organization. Increased focus on fee-based revenues through the firm's centralized wealth advisory arm is a major positive for shareholders, especially given the prolonged low interest rates that we're facing right now.On Tuesday, Fulton announced a 16.67% dividend increase, bringing its payout to 7 cents per share. A 2.31% dividend yield makes Fulton a reasonably strong payer in the banking business. Even so, the firm's small-cap status makes it more appropriate as a supporting player to a core income holding in a bigger regional bank. As of the most recently reported period, Fulton is one of David Dreman's top holdings. Follow @stockpickr