Washington Trust ramps up dividends

WESTERLY – The board of directors of Washington Trust Bancorp Inc., parent of The Washington Trust Co., recently declared a dividend of 51 cents per share for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The Westerly-based bank said the dividend will be paid out Oct. 11 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 1.

It was at least the 18th consecutive quarterly dividend paid out by Washington Trust dating back to the start of 2014. The bank did not provide PBN with dividend records dating back before that.

There’s other good news for shareholders of Washington Trust, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest community bank. The statistics show that Washington Trust’s quarterly dividends have gradually increased since the start of 2014.

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That starts with dividends of 29 cents per share in the first half of 2014, with dividends either increasing or staying the same in each quarter since then, finally rising to 47 cents per share in the first quarter this year and then, most recently, to 51 cents per share in the second and third quarters this year.

Stock market watchers recently commended Washington Trust for paying out a “generally growing” dividend for the past 22 years, and for keeping the dividend flat during the Great Recession about a decade ago.

The blog Cashflow Capitalist recently lauded the bank for expanding into neighboring states, facilitating “robust” growth. It noted the bank grew net interest income and net income through the Great Recession, even though earnings per share were hurt.

“The quality of the bank’s assets is top notch,” Cashflow Capitalist added.

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Blake@PBN.com.

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