Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF) reported an increase in profit for the fourth quarter that also topped Wall Street estimates, however, revenues fell short of expectations. In light of performance and prospects, and its limited need for incremental equity capital, the Board of Directors has increased quarterly dividend by 20%.
Fourth quarter adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders was $369 million, or $1.36 per share. On average, four analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $1.34, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
Net income attributable to common shareholders increased to $324.91 million or $1.20 per share from $307.27 million or $1.11 per share, prior year.
Total net revenues declined 3 percent to $1.81 billion from $1.86 billion, previous year. Analysts on average had estimated $1.90 billion in revenue. Investment Banking net revenues were $1.18 billion, for the quarter.
For the twelve months ended November 30, 2021, adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders was $1.71 billion, or $6.29 per share. Total net revenues increased 36 percent to $8.19 billion. The company recorded record investment banking net revenues of $4.42 billion, for the fiscal year.
The company’s Board of Directors has increased quarterly dividend to $0.30 per share, a 140% increase from two years ago. It is payable on February 25, 2022 to record holders of Jefferies common shares on February 14, 2022. Also, the Board of Directors has increased share buyback authorization by $88 million back to a total of $250 million.
“We will continue also to return capital to shareholders via share buybacks as well as, if financial conditions and circumstances permit, in-kind distributions or special cash dividends as we continue to wind down the legacy merchant banking portfolio,” said Richard Handler, CEO.
Shares of Jefferies Financial Group were down 4% in pre-market trade on Wednesday.
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