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Income Insights

What to Expect When Companies Declare Q3 Dividends

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 23, 2018

The first half of 2018 has been marked by economic strength, a continuing low cost of capital and generally favorable regulatory developments for the vast majority of companies we track at Conrad’s Utility Investor. That’s why we don’t expect many companies to deviate much, though there are notable exceptions:

  • Endangered Dividends List companies rapidly approaching decision time on dividends in the face of pressured revenue and inability to access capital markets on favorable terms.
  • Companies with secure and growing cash flows that might nonetheless cut distributions or at least curtail growth in order to self-fund more capital spending.
  • Companies facing major disruptive conditions and needing to hold in more cash flow. PG&E (NYSE: PCG), for example, cancelled dividends when risk rose it could be liable for billions of dollars in damages from last year’s wildfires in California.
  • Companies that have either frozen or sharply reduced dividend growth rates but have now achieved their goals and may be considering a return to growth.

What companies in these four groups do with their dividends the next several weeks will ultimately be far more important to their second half 2018 returns than operating numbers reported later.

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