Allstate, Prudential Return Cash to Shareholders Through Buybacks, Dividends

Allstate (ALL) announced on Tuesday plans to return cash to shareholders. In addition to a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share, the largest publicly traded personal insurer announced a $1 billion share repurchase program.

"Allstate is exceptionally well-capitalized, with an estimated $15.1 billion of statutory capital at the insurance companies and $3.5 billion of investments at the holding company as of Sept. 30, 2010," said President and CEO Thomas Wilson (pictured).

Allstate says its capital levels are the result of different actions over the past three years, including reduction of hurricane exposure, repositioning of Allstate Financial, and aggressively managing its $100 million investment portfolio.

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The company will execute the $1 billion share repurchase program through open market purchases and complete it by March 31, 2012.

The quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share is payable on Jan. 3, 2011 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 30, 2010.

Prudential Financial (PRU) also announced plans to return cash to shareholders on Tuesday. The second largest life insurer increased the annual dividend by 64% to $1.15 a share , payable on Dec. 17, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 23, 2010.

Shares of both rose over 1% in premarket trading.
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