U.S. Bancorp Raises Dividend by 6%

That is not a misprint. There are banks in this country that are raising their dividends. U.S. Bancorp (USB) now yields more than 5% on the new annual payout of $1.70 per share. The lack of worry on their part stems from a very conservative business model. They are simply content growing at a slower rate, and avoiding aggressive lending practices, as opposed to the strategies that other large banks have adopted in recent years. This is evident from USB’s press release, which points out the company has raised its dividend for 36 straight years, and has paid one in 145 consecutive years.

If you are looking for a high yielding, lower risk bank stock, USB is a solid option in the second tier of companies (large banks, but not the giant banks). Warren Buffett recently upped his stake in the firm, so he obviously likes management here quite a bit. The stock isn’t dirt cheap at 12 times forward earnings and about 3 times book value, but sometimes you have to pay a bit more for safety, and the stock certainly is not overpriced by any means. Take a look at it if you want to venture outside the Big 3 in domestic banking.

Full Disclosure: No position in USB at the time of writing