Halliburton (HAL) has announced today a 2020 second quarter dividend of $0.045 a share on the company’s common stock payable on June 24, 2020, to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 3, 2020.
This translates into a 75% decrease from the previous dividend payout of $0.180 and represents a forward yield of 1.61%.
“The decision to set the quarterly dividend at a lower level reflects the current market conditions and uncertainties regarding the depth and duration of this downturn” Halliburton says.
At the same time, the company’s board of directors also approved a 20% voluntary reduction to their annual retainer. This follows salary reductions already taken by the members of the executive committee.
“Halliburton continues to take measures to strengthen our liquidity and financial resilience under the current circumstances. We implemented a $1 billion action plan to reduce overhead and other costs, lowered capital expenditures roughly 50% from 2019 levels and accelerated the implementation of our North American service delivery improvement strategy,” said Jeff Miller, Halliburton CEO.
According to Miller, the lower dividend reflects a reasonable payout during these uncertain times.
Shares in Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, have plummeted 54% so far year-to-date. And analysts are staying on the sidelines, with a Hold consensus and an average price target of $8.54- indicating further downside potential of 23%.
Nonetheless RBC Capital’s Kurt Hallead maintains his buy rating on the stock, arguing “We continue to see HAL as a through-cycle core holding for mid- and large-cap energy investors given its disciplined approach to maximizing profitability, free cash flow and shareholder returns.” (See HAL stock analysis on TipRanks).