Allegiant Bancorp (NASDAQ:ALLE) is just one of the latest in a long list of stocks that plan to increase its dividend. The company announced yesterday that it intends to increase its quarterly cash dividend by 22% to 11 cents per share starting next year. The increase would provide an annualized dividend yield of around 2% based on its closing price last week.

Allegiant may turn out to be a Hidden Gem in the banking sector. It serves small and mid-sized businesses in addition to individuals with a full range of banking services in 36 locations throughout St. Louis. It has continued to grow over the past few years, despite the overall drop in the market. In fact, it has recently grown into the largest publicly held bank based in St. Louis.

The company said it wants to keep its dividend yield just slightly below its peer group, because it wants to keep reinvesting earnings to support its continued expansion. Allegiant said that it continues to consider itself to be a "growth" company. Admittedly, its second-quarter profits, which remained flat at $6.1 million or 35 cents a share, put a bit of a damper on its growth trajectory over the summer. But if previous trends continue, Allegiant will continue to open new branches and expand its bottom line.

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Brian R. Hook is the publisher of BizBlip.com and can be reached by email at brhook@bizblip.com.