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MetLife Increases Stock Dividend

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MetLife Inc. announced today that it will pay a dividend of 46 cents per share of common stock for the second quarter.

(Related: U.S. Life Insurers, Stocks Shook Off the 1918 Flu)

The dividend will be payable June 12 to shareholders who own MetLife common stock on May 8.

The dividend is up from 44 cents per share for the second quarter of 2019.

MetLife spent a total of $405 million on dividends on common stock in the second quarter of 2019 and $32 million on dividends on preferred stock during the quarter, according to its Form 10-K annual report.

The company reported $1.3 billion in net income for the second quarter of 2019 on $16 billion in revenue.

Michel Khalaf, MetLife’s chief executive officer, alluded to the current COVID-19-related turmoil in a comment included in the dividend announcement,

“We are pleased that our financial strength enables us to increase our common stock quarterly dividend, which provides a steady and growing income to millions of people during this economically challenging time,” Khalaf said in the comment.

Dividends Today

A share of stock is an arrangement that gives the holder a small piece of ownership of the company that issued the stock.

A stock dividend is a payment a company makes to transfer part of its cash, or part or all of other assets, to its shareholders.

Life insurers’ stock dividend announcements typically get little attention from anyone other than the insurers’ own investors.

In recent weeks, COVID-19-related financial turmoil has put companies’ dividend announcements in the spotlight.

Executives from Prudential Financial Inc. and Principal Financial Group Inc. have said that they expect their companies to continue to pay dividends this year.

But Prudential managers told securities analysts, during a virtual roadshow meeting in March, that, if claims from the pandemic were very severe, they could use some of the money allocated for paying dividends to handle a surge in life insurance or disability insurance claims.

— Read We Have Plenty of Cash: Principalon ThinkAdvisor.

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