TUPELO, Miss., Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE: BXS) Board of Directors declared today a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per common share, which is a $0.04 per share or 400 percent increase over the Company's previous quarterly dividend payment of $0.01 per common share. The dividend is payable October 1, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 13, 2013.
Dan Rollins, Chief Executive Officer of BancorpSouth, commented, "We are very pleased to announce this increased payment to our shareholders; a level of payment that is consistent with current industry dividend payout ratios, which measure the size of a dividend payment compared to the company's net income. As shareholders, our Board has clearly understood and shared the desire to enhance our dividend and return more capital to our shareholders. Our decision reflects the confidence that we have in the strength of our enterprise risk management system, the strength of our core capital base, and the belief that our strategic plan will continue to produce profitable growth."
The $0.05 per share payment is the first increase in the Company's cash dividend since the reduction of the quarterly payment to $0.01 per share in the second quarter of 2011.
CEO Dan Rollins continued, "I am encouraged with the progress made through the first half of this year towards our efforts to improve our efficiency and expense control, our continued progress in improving asset quality, and our revenue growth opportunities as we continue to emphasize to our people the importance of growth, both in our loan portfolio and in our lines of business."At the end of the second quarter 2013, the Company achieved quarter-over-quarter loan growth for the first time in three years, while the Company's earnings benefitted from strong performances from a wide range of noninterest lines of business. The Company's insurance brokerage division is presently the fourth largest bank-owned agency in the country according to the recently published Michael White Bank Insurance Fee Income Report, and its mortgage division continues to produce solid origination volume despite the industry headwinds produced by declining refinance activity.