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State Street Corp.

(STT) - Get State Street Corporation Report

CEO Joseph Hooley told analysts at the Merrill Lynch Financial Services conference in New York today that his company's "top priority is to the restore the dividend," according to a Reuters report.

Shares were down slightly to $42.95 in morning trading.

The investment servicer was featured as the bank holding company with the best third-quarter earnings performance among



Banks Likely to Boost Dividends

just last week.

State Street is currently paying a token quarterly dividend of a penny a share, having cut the payout after receiving $2 billion in bailout funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. State Street fully repaid TARP in June 2009.

At Tuesday's closing price of $43.13, restoring its 2009-level dividend of 24 cents would translate to an annual yield of 2.23%.

Hooley also said State Street was looking to double its revenue earned outside of the United States over the next five years.

The company had $1.9 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, increasing from $1.7 trillion a year earlier.

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Goldman Sachs on Nov. 5 upgraded its rating for State Street to a buy, with a $50 price target.

Shares had a one-year total return of 6% as of Tuesday's market close. Out of 18 analysts covering State Street, 15 rate the shares a buy, while the other three analysts recommend investors hold the shares.


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Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.