boosted its quarterly dividend by 11% late Tuesday as the big bank seeks to shore up the swooning financial sector.
The San Francisco bank raised its quarterly payout to 31 cents from 28 cents, payable Sept. 1 to shareholders of record Aug. 10. The dividend announcement comes on a day when financial stocks accelerated their recent decline following more bad news in the mortgage sector.
, the largest independent mortgage company, warned that rising delinquencies and defaults were spreading beyond the subprime industry into some so-called prime mortgage categories such as home equity loans.
The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender's CEO, Angelo Mozilo, said he doesn't see a housing recovery until 2009. The comments sent Countrywide shares tumbling 10% and led to steep declines in shares of other banks and lenders.
Wells' stock dropped 92 cents, or 2.6%, to $33.93 in regular trading, though shares picked up 31 cents in late action.