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Mid-cap property-casualty insurer
Cincinnati Financial(CINF - Get Report) announced a new dividend payout at the start of this month, shelling out 40.5 cents this quarter to investors on July 16. The firm has been paying out its quarterly 40.5 cent dividend since 2009. But for a number of reasons, I think that this is CINF's last payout at that rate.
Unlike bigger insurers with armies of employee-agents, Cincinnati Financial caters primarily to smaller commercial clients through a network of independent agents. As a result, the firm is able to make the most of personal relationships that agents have built.
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That's the main reason why agents are at the center of the firm's expansion plan -- keep your agents happy and sales will follow. That mantra has played out incredibly well in the last few years; at present, Cincinnati Financial provides the lion's share of insurance coverage for most of those independent agencies.
The firm's underwriting standards are high, and that keeps risks low -- a welcome attribute for any investor's insurance portfolio. It also keeps earnings consistent enough to justify a hefty dividend yield: 4.4%. Shares of this stock have been on a tear since the start of 2012, climbing more than 20%.
Now could be a good time to ride that momentum ahead of a dividend hike.