Old Republic International Corporation (ORI) will pay another special cash dividend of $1.00 per share in 2021. Earlier this year ORI raised its quarterly dividend by 5.0 percent to $0.21 per share and the insurance holding company also paid a $1.00 per share special dividend in 2020. The company has now raised its dividend 39 consecutive years.
The special dividend will be paid on January 15, 2021 to shareholders of record on January 5, 2021. A regular annual dividend rate of 84 cents per share yields 4.4% at a stock price of $19.21.
In the press release announcing this special dividend, the company states that at its most recent quarterly meeting, the Board of Directors evaluated a number of factors critical to the long-term management of Old Republic's diversified insurance business. With this review, the Board of Directors concluded that currently available unregulated liquid funds are appropriately sufficient to allow the payment of this one-time special dividend in a fair and equitable manner to all shareholders of record.
All told, during the past five years, the Board of Directors will now have declared regular and special cash dividends of nearly $2 billion or approximately 70% of the Company's total earnings. All such dividends will have been paid proportionately to all shareholders of record during those years. Over that same time period, Old Republic's shareholders equity account has nonetheless grown by nearly 52% principally through retained earnings, a moderate capital raise, and market appreciation of the Company's fixed maturity and common stock portfolios.
Old Republic International Corporation has raised its dividend 39 straight calendar years with dividend growth actually picking up in the last three years. The company pays an estimated $255 million in regular dividends annually to shareholders according to calculations by dividendhike.com.
Chicago-based Old Republic International Corporation is an insurance holding company. Old Republic is primarily a commercial lines underwriter serving the insurance needs of a large number of organizations, including many of America’s leading industrial and financial services institutions. Its subsidiaries actively market, underwrite, and provide risk management services for a wide variety of coverages, mostly in the general and title insurance fields. Old Republic has paid a cash dividend without interruption since the World War II year of 1942. The company traces its beginnings to 1923, although several acquired subsidiaries began operations much earlier.