Synchrony Financial (SYF 5.10%) is keeping its dividend level. The company announced after market hours on Tuesday that it will again pay a quarterly common-stock dividend of $0.22 per share, matching the last six disbursements. The upcoming dividend is to be handed out on Feb. 16 to investors of record as of Feb. 5.
At the current stock price, it would yield just under 2.6%.
Also, Synchrony is launching a new $1.6 billion share repurchase program for 2021. The initiative will run through Dec. 31 of this year. Using the typical boilerplate language of such programs, the company said that it "expects to repurchase shares from time to time subject to the company's repurchase program limit, its capital plan, market conditions and other factors, including regulatory restrictions and required approvals, if any."
Synchrony, which specializes in managing store-brand credit cards and associated products, has had its challenges lately.
As a financial services company closely tied to the retail industry, it has had to contend with potentially sharp rises in loan defaults due to the economic damage caused by the pandemic. Meanwhile, since it operates in the retail sphere, it is directly exposed to the pandemic-related downturns in that sector.
Given those storms, Synchrony has actually done a decent job keeping its head above water. This is reflected in the steadiness of the dividend, and the fact that the company has a relatively high cash pile with which to buy back its own shares.
In late afternoon trading on Wednesday, however, Synchrony stock was essentially moving along with the S&P 500 index, with the shares down by 2.8%.