Fulton Financial Corp. (FULT)

Fulton Financial Corp. offers consumer and commercial banking services through 254 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. The company also engages in insurance sales, investment management, trust, brokerage, and investment advisory services. Fulton has a market capitalization of 2.8B. This company has a good growth record approximately equal to the S&P 500, but with less volatiliy; the beta of the shares is only .72.

FULT offers a generous dividend yield of 3.7%, although the current payout ratio is a bit high at 54%. The company’s website shows that the cash dividend has been increased every year for the last 20 years; in addition, the company has distributed an annual stock dividend every year since 1990, ranging from 5% stock dividends to 5-for-4 splits. Thus, FULT has been an excellent vehicle for long-term investors.

On a short-term basis, the weekly chart shows fairly well-defined cycles that have been recurring for more than two years – the peaks have been six to seven months apart, and so have the valleys. FULT peaked in July and is declining. The next cycle low would be expected any time between now and December, and I think that will be a great time to get on board. Fulton Financial looks like a nice component of a geographically diversified portfolio of mid-cap bank stocks.

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