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Aon Rewards Shareholders with 10% Increase in Dividend

The board of directors of Aon plc AON recently approved a 10% hike in its annual cash dividend. The increased dividend of $1.32 per share will be paid to shareholders in quarterly installment of 33 cents as against 30 cents per share paid earlier.

Shareholders on record as of May 2, 2016 will have the meatier dividends in their pockets on May 16, 2016. Based on Friday’s closing price of $104.30, the annualized dividend currently has a yield of 1.27%, better than the industry yield of 1.20%.

Aon has a track record of annual dividend hikes each year since 2013. With the latest dividend hike, the company has increased its dividend at a three-year CAGR of 23.6%. The last dividend hike came in Apr 2015, when the company raised the annual cash dividend by 20% to $1.20 per share.

The increase in dividend is primarily backed by Aon’s sustained sturdy operational performance. Aon outperformed expectation in each of the last four quarters of with an average earnings beat of 4.29%. With about $269.8 million shares outstanding at the end of 2015, the company paid about $89 million quarterly or $356.1 million annually as dividend. The company's robust capital position supports its payouts.

Apart from dividend hikes, the company engages in share buybacks to enhance investors' worth. In 2015, the company spent $1.6 billion to buy back 16 million Class A Ordinary Shares and is left with $4.1 billion under its buyback authorization. Aon’s efficient capital deployment through dividend payouts and share buybacks makes it an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors.

Aon is set to report its first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 29. Our proven model does not conclusively show that Aon is likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because though the company's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) increases the predictive power of an earnings beat, an Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.

Recently, several other insurers also rewarded their shareholders with a dividend hike. Torchmark Corporation TMK approved a 3.7% hike dividend in March this year, while FBL Financial Group, Inc. FFG and Horace Mann Educators Corp. HMN increased dividend by 5% and 6%, respectively, in the same month.

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AON PLC (AON): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TORCHMARK CORP (TMK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FBL FINL GRP-A (FFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HORACE MANN EDS (HMN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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