Dividends By The Numbers In March 2021

That doesn't mean the economy was entirely free from distress during the quarter. Here's the very short list of dividend cuts we saw in our near real-time sampling for March 2021.

Each of these firms can trace the current distress behind their announced dividend cuts to some aspect of the coronavirus recession. While the first three represent something of a delayed response to 2020's coronavirus recession, the second three are in response to the new lockdowns being imposed by national governments in the Eurozone in 2021. That's because as variable dividend payers, the dividends of oil royalty trusts like these firms are very sensitive to changes in global oil prices. Here, the reduction in demand resulting from Eurozone lockdown measures means falling oil prices, which in turn, has meant dividend cuts for these firms.

Variable dividend payers can be like the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, which is why we pay attention to them. Sometimes, they just contribute noise. But other times, as now, they pick up on an underlying signal which makes them well worth watching.


References

Standard and Poor. S&P Market Attributes Web File. [Excel Spreadsheet]. 31 March 2021.

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