Wednesday, March 11, 2020

S&P 500 energy index signals risk to industry's dividends

Occidental Petroleum Inc.’s first dividend cut in 30 years may have set a precedent, if the S&P 500 Energy Index is any guide. Two weeks ago, the index’s dividend yield surpassed a record of 4.9% that had stood since 1992, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yield rose above 7% Monday as the industry gauge suffered the biggest loss in its 30-year history. Tumbling oil prices helped drive up the yield and prompted Occidental to slash its payout by 86% in an effort to conserve cash.

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