IL’s local stock focus: SYBT beating benchmark, Kindred on a roll

1. Stock Yards Bancorp (ticker: SYBT): Regional banks might not put too much lead in the pencils of the day-trading crowd, but it doesn’t mean shareholders haven’t reaped the benefits. Louisville’s Stock Yards Bancorp has been on a bit of a tear in the past few months, besting the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index, and paying a pretty fair dividend at the same time.

Over the past six months, for example, SYBT is up 12.1 percent, while the index is up just 4.5 percent:

sybtSYBT has also bested the index over the past three months, as well as over the past month. The stock is trading at $33.67, near its 52-week high.

The bank also pays a nice annual dividend of 2.73 percent, meaning you’d probably earn more investing in the bank than keeping your money at the bank.

The foundation for this recent good news is clear. The bank posted record financial results for 2014, with earnings per share of $2.36 for the year. This was the fourth consecutive year the bank posted record earnings per share.

 2. Kindred (ticker: KND): Don’t look now, but Louisville healthcare titan Kindred has been on a bit of a roll. Over the past month, its shares are up 12.6 percent, versus 1.7 percent for the S&P 500.

Much of this growth came courtesy of a surprisingly steep ride the stock took in late February. Just look at this chart:

Kindredwater worksWhat got Wall Street so amorous toward the firm? A dividend announcement. Yup, dividends are really sexy to traders, though most of us think of them as something you get when you own Water Works and Electric Company in Monopoly. And in that game it’s no big whoop.

The Kindred dividend currently pays 2.2 percent a year, which means you’re getting paid while you hold the stock, which is rising because of the dividend.

Confused yet?

Official Kentucky Derby wine released this week

179055Most reasonable people associate bourbon with the Kentucky Derby, but now there’s an official wine for the occasion, produced by Washington State’s 14 Hands Winery.

The 14 Hands 2012 Kentucky Derby Red Blend is a combination of the winery’s Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It’ll be available at retail outlets soon for a suggested retail price of $12.

“Our goal when crafting this unique wine was to capture the fun yet sophisticated essence of the Kentucky Derby,” said 14 Hands winemaker Keith Kenison in a news release. “We are always striving to make a style of wine that everyone can enjoy, and we think the Kentucky Derby Red Blend is perfect for those who want to take a taste of the Derby home with them.”

We hope they’d take something more Kentucky-centric home with them than a red blend made in Washington, but that’s just us.

As one of the sponsors of this year’s Kentucky Derby, 14 Hands will be featured at April 30’s Taste of Derby event and at concession stands throughout Churchill Downs during the Oaks and Derby.