Suncorp Group, an Australian general insurer, experienced a decline in its shares as the company's final dividend fell below expectations. The drop was attributed to reinsurance pressures and a delay in the prospective sale of Suncorp's banking unit.

Share Performance

Suncorp Group's shares dropped by 3.0% to AUD 13.34 (USD 8.73) and reached a low of AUD 13.12 during today's trading session. This decline positions Suncorp as one of the worst performers on the ASX 200 index.

Dividend Announcement

As part of its fiscal 2023 earnings announcement, Suncorp declared a final dividend of AUD 0.27 per share, an increase from the previous year's AUD 0.17 per share. However, the company stated that the full-year dividend payout ratio of 60% of cash earnings was at the lower end of the target range of 60% to 80%.

Suncorp reiterated its commitment to maintain a dividend payout ratio between 60% and 80%. The lower dividend payout for fiscal 2023 was due to significant shifts in capital and ongoing processes related to the sale of its bank to ANZ Group, including engagement with the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Analysts' View

According to Citi analysts, the final dividend fell short of both Citi's and consensus expectations. Additionally, the fiscal 2024 outlook guidance points to a challenging first half for Suncorp.

Year-to-Date Performance

Despite the recent decline, Suncorp shares have recorded a year-to-date increase of approximately 11%.

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