The GEO Group (GEO) will suspend its quarterly dividend in Q2 of 2021. Earlier this year the dividend was already cut by another 96 percent to 1 cent per share quarterly. This followed cuts of 26.5 percent to 25 cents per share and 29.2 percent to 34 cents in previous quarters by the correctional facilities REIT.
The last quarterly cash dividend was paid on February 21, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on January 25, 2021. The dividend yield for GEO was 12.8% prior to the dividend suspension just announced. GEO Group had cut its dividend 91.7 percent in 2021, following a 29.2 percent reduction already announced in 2020.
In a press release the company explains the dividend cut by stating that it has immediately suspended GEO’s quarterly dividend payments with the goal of maximizing the use of cash flows to repay debt, deleverage, and internally fund growth. GEO says it currently intends to maintain its corporate tax structure as a Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”), but the Board has determined to undertake an evaluation of GEO's structure as a REIT.
The GEO Group, Inc. is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specialized in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities. GEO has operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. GEO’s worldwide operations include the ownership and/or management of 125 facilities totaling approximately 93,000 beds, including projects under development, with a workforce of approximately 23,000 professionals. The company had paid a dividend to shareholders every year since 2012 before the suspension of the quarterly dividend was announced on April 4, 2021.