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Synchrony Financial Keeps Dividend Steady Despite Steep Profit Decline

By Eric Volkman – Apr 27, 2020 at 12:22PM

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The retail store credit card specialist will again distribute a payout of $0.22 per share.

Synchrony Financial's (SYF 0.47%) will keep its dividends flowing at the same rate as it did for its previous three distributions, despite a significant drop in profitability in the company's recently reported first quarter. On Friday, it's board announced that the company's next quarterly payout would be $0.22 per share.

This is to be handed out on May 14 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 4. At the most recent closing stock price, the dividend yields 5.2%, which is relatively generous for the finance sector.

A person adding to a stack of coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

Synchrony, which specializes in private-label credit card services for retailers, was spun off from General Electric in 2014. It began to consistently pay quarterly dividends in mid-2016, with the amount rising from $0.13 per share to its present level.

On Wednesday, Synchrony published Q1 2020 results that revealed a year-over-year net profit decline of 74%. However, this was due in no small part to a large increase in loan-loss provisioning. This is a widespread trend in the banking industry just now because lenders  anticipate a major surge in loan defaults due to the economic slowdown caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The loss last year of a major store card account -- that of retailing giant Walmart -- also negatively affected results. Synchrony did post growth in certain key areas, though, such as total deposits.

This, plus the maintenance of its dividend, seemed to please investors. On Friday, Synchrony shares rose by 5.4%, exceeding the gains of the wider equities market.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Synchrony Financial Stock Quote
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$31.83 (0.47%) $0.15
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