Caterpillar maintains cash dividend

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Caterpillar Inc. announced Wednesday that it will maintain its quarterly cash dividend at 77 cents per share of common stock.

The company’s board of directors voted to maintain the dividend during its quarterly meeting in Peoria. The dividend will be payable Nov. 20 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 26.

The decision comes just three weeks after Caterpillar announced on Sept. 24 that plans to cut its global workforce by 10,000 people by the end of 2018, with nearly half of that being salaried and management personnel by the end of this year. The company made voluntary buyout offers to many of those personnel but has not said how many will accept.

The cuts will come on top of the 31,000 jobs the company has already trimmed since 2012 because of difficult economic conditions in parts of the world of the world where it does business and in some of its businesses, particularly in the mining industry.

Caterpillar said it also will consolidate some of its businesses and close up to 20 facilities worldwide.

Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman alluded to the difficulties in a statement accompanying the announcement on Wednesday.

"I am pleased to announce we are maintaining Caterpillar's dividend. Even in this challenging environment, where we are aggressively moving to reduce our cost structure to match our current business outlook, we remain committed to rewarding stockholders through the cycles. As evidence of this commitment, we have returned $3.3 billion in capital to stockholders through dividends and stock repurchases to date in 2015," Oberhelman said.

Including this announcement, Caterpillar has paid higher dividends to its stockholders for 22 consecutive years, and since 2007, the company's cash dividend has more than doubled. Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed and has paid a quarterly dividend since 1933.

Caterpillar is scheduled to release its third quarter financial report on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Caterpillar stock rose more than $1.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday after the dividend announcement before settling back to close at $70.71 a share, up 54 cents. The stock has been mostly rising since shortly after the Sept. 24 announcement; it hit its 52-week low of $62.99 on Sept. 28. 

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).