comscore Bank of Hawaii increases dividend 15.4% as tax cut helps earnings | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Bank of Hawaii increases dividend 15.4% as tax cut helps earnings

Bank of Hawaii Corp. boosted its dividend 15.4 percent on the heels of a new tax law that enabled the company to realize big savings on its tax bill and produce higher first-quarter earnings.

The state’s second-largest bank said today its net income rose 5.6 percent to $54 million, or $1.28 a share, from $51.2 million, or $1.20 a share, in the year-earlier period. With the higher earnings, Bankoh raised its dividend to 60 cents a share from 52 cents a share. It will be payable on June 14 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 31.

“Our dividend policy is 50 percent of net income, so if the earnings go up because the taxes are lower that’s going to increase shareholder value,” said Peter Ho, chairman, president and CEO of Bankoh.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect Jan. 1 reduced the federal corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. In the first quarter, Bankoh’s effective tax rate was 16.19 percent compared with 32.93 percent in the fourth quarter and 29.72 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Typically, Bankoh would have had a tax rate of 30 to 32 percent prior to the tax change.

The bank’s tax rate during the first quarter also benefited from a $2 million adjustment to the company’s low-income housing investments.

During the quarter, Bankoh’s loans increased 8.8 percent to $9.92 billion, deposits rose 3.3 percent to $14.96 billion and assets gained 2.8 percent to $17.14 billion.

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