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Here’s why the Bendigo Bank (ASX:BEN) share price is sliding 5% today

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The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) share price is heading south during trade on Monday.

This comes despite the regional bank not releasing any market-sensitive news today.

At the time of writing, Bendigo Bank shares are down 5.26% to $9.09 apiece.

Why are Bendigo shares falling today? 

Following the company’s half-year results released on 14 February, investors are eyeing Bendigo Bank shares as they go ex-dividend today.

This means that investors who bought the company’s shares on Friday will be eligible for the latest dividend. Anyone who purchases the shares today will miss out as the seller has secured the dividend.

Historically, when a company reaches its ex-dividend day, its shares tend to fall in proportion to the dividend paid out.

When can Bendigo Bank shareholders expect payment?

For those eligible for Bendigo Bank’s interim dividend, shareholders will receive a payment of 26.5 cents per share on 31 March. The dividend is fully franked which means that investors will receive tax credits from this.

The latest dividend is a 12.8% increase when compared against the prior corresponding period (23.5 cents per share in H1 FY21).

The above payout figure represents an annualised dividend yield of 5.98%.

Management expects the dividend payout ratio target of 60% to 80% of cash earnings to be at the low end in FY22.

Are Bendigo Bank shares a buy now?

Following the company’s H1 FY22 results, a number of brokers weighed in on the Bendigo Bank share price.

The team at Morgan Stanley upgraded its outlook on the bank’s shares to equal-weight from underweight. In addition, it raised its 12-month price target by 1.1% to $9.60. Based on the current share price, this implies an upside of roughly 5%.

Jarden analysts have a similar view for Bendigo Bank shares, lifting its take by 4.3% to $9.80.

However, the most bullish brokers came from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. They improved their price targets by 5.1% to $10.53, and 5.2% to $10.10, respectively. This represents an upside of between 11% and 15% from were Bendigo Bank shares are trading today.

Due to today’s significant drop, the Bendigo Bank share price is now down by 11% over the last 12 months.

On valuation grounds, Bendigo Bank commands a market capitalisation of around $5.1 billion, with approximately 560.82 million shares outstanding.

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