BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE: PRA) Board of Directors has authorized a 2-for-1 stock split. Following the split, shareholders will also receive a special dividend of $2.50 per common share and a regular dividend of $0.25 per common share.
The stock split will be in the form of a 100% stock dividend, payable on December 27, 2012, to shareholders who own our stock as of December 17, 2012. The same record and payment dates will apply to the $2.50 per common share special dividend and the regular dividend, both of which will be paid on total shares held after the stock split. This accelerated payment of the regular quarterly dividend will replace the dividend that would normally be paid in January 2013.
"Today's dividend actions underscore our Board's commitment to sound financial stewardship, whether by maintaining a strong balance sheet to deliver unmatched security to our policyholders, or creating meaningful long-term value for our shareholders. We believe today's actions are the proper response to current market conditions, while maintaining flexibility to deploy further capital through M&A and share repurchase as those opportunities arise," said W. Stancil Starnes, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.On an annualized basis, the post-split quarterly dividend announced today represents a yield of approximately 2.2% based on the $90.30 per share closing price of our stock on the New York Stock Exchange on December 4, 2012. Our post-split dividend policy will anticipate a total annual dividend of $1.00 per share, to be paid in equal quarterly installments. However, any decision to pay future cash dividends is subject to the Board's final determination after a comprehensive review of the company's financial performance, future expectations and other factors deemed relevant by the Board. Starnes also said, "We believe the stock split will make ProAssurance stock even more attractive to a broader range of investors. Given the many opportunities ahead of us, we are committed to attracting investors who share our disciplined, long-term philosophy."