Noble Energy Cuts Stock Dividend 44%, Lowers 2016 Capex 50%

In an announcement made on Tuesday, Noble Energy, a driller with a significant presence in the Marcellus/Utica, said the company is reducing dividend payments for its commons stock–lowering the payment by 44% to 10 cents per share. MDN recently told you that both Rex Energy and Chesapeake Energy had suspended dividend payments on preferred stock, not common stock (see Rex Energy Suspends Preferred Stock Dividends to Conserve Cash, and Chesapeake Energy Suspends Preferred Stock Dividends, Saves $170M). Noble’s move is a bit different–lowering (not eliminating) dividends on common stock. All of these companies are engaging in strategies to hold on to some of the money in the organization so they can keep the lights on and keep drilling. But it’s a Catch-22. Investors are owners of the company, and they like to get paid. Receiving dividends is an important part of why they invested in the first place. But if the company keeps paying, it risks going out of business and then their shares of stock are worthless. No good choices. Noble also announced on Tuesday they are budgeting to spend $1.5 billion in 2016, which is down 50% from 2015…

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