Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) will reinstate its quarterly dividend in 2021 with a first payment of $0.075 per share. Last year FCX suspended the quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share previously planned for May 1, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global economic uncertainties.
The next dividend is payable May 1, 2021. A new annualized dividend rate of $0.60 per share yields 2.1% at a stock price of $28.14 for Freeport-McMoRan.
In its press release announcing the dividend suspension the company states that in addition, the Board has adopted a new financial policy for the allocation of cash flows aligned with its strategic objectives of maintaining a strong balance sheet, increasing cash returns to shareholders and advancing opportunities for future growth. Under the new policy, up to 50% of available cash flows generated after planned capital spending and distributions to noncontrolling interests would be allocated to shareholder returns and the balance to debt reduction and investments in value enhancing growth projects.
Richard C. Adkerson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our Board’s action reflects strong performance of our business and execution by our team in 2020, which established a solid foundation for future cash flow generation. The policy of combining a base dividend, which can be sustained in a range of market conditions, with a performance based payout framework, allows us to enhance long-term value for shareholders with a strong balance sheet, providing cash returns to shareholders reflective of market conditions and building long-term values in our undeveloped resources.”
Freeport-McMoRan reinstated a quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share in 2018. The dividend was also suspended by the copper producer in 2015 and 2009. The annual dividend payment will be approximately $436 million.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is an international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The company operates geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum. FCX is one of the world's largest publicly traded copper producers. The company's portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world's largest copper and gold deposits; and significant mining operations in North America and South America, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in Arizona and the Cerro Verde operation in Peru. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., formerly known as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., was established in 1988 following the discovery of the Grasberg copper and gold deposit in Papua, Indonesia, when FCX’s former parent company, then known by the New York Stock Exchange trading symbol of “FTX”, sold 20 percent of the company in an initial public offering, or IPO.