Peabody Declares Supplemental Cash Dividend Of $1.85 Per Share To Augment Ongoing $1.5 Billion Share Buyback Program And Quarterly Dividends
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody (NYSE: BTU) announced today that its board of directors has declared a supplemental dividend of $1.85 per share, payable on March 20, 2019 to holders of record on March 12, 2019. The total amount of the supplemental dividend payment will be approximately $200 million based on the current number of shares outstanding and will be funded through existing cash balances.
"Peabody's supplemental dividend demonstrates strong confidence in the company's substantial cash flow generating capability," said Peabody President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow. "Today, we deploy another tool in our capital allocation kit with a supplemental dividend that shows a flexibility of approach and underscores a sustained commitment to returning cash to shareholders."
In 2019, the company expects to allocate an amount equal to or greater than its free cash flow to shareholder returns. In 2018, Peabody deployed two-thirds of its free cash flow to share repurchases and dividends, and used the vast majority of remaining free cash flow for the highly attractive Shoal Creek Mine acquisition.
"Peabody has already returned more than $1.1 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends over the past 18 months, yet Peabody's liquidity levels still remain well above our target," said Kellow. "We are pleased to be issuing this supplemental dividend, representing further significant, tangible contributions to shareholder returns, while we continue our active share buyback program and ongoing quarterly dividends."
The supplemental dividend is in addition to the company's previously declared quarterly dividend of $0.13 per share, payable on March 6, 2019 to shareholders of record on Feb. 20, 2019. The company initiated a quarterly dividend program in February 2018 and has twice raised the per share amount.
The company also has approximately $415 million remaining under its current $1.5 billion authorization for share repurchases, and continues to implement buybacks as the company believes the shares are a compelling investment opportunity. Peabody's liquidity target remains $800 million and stood at $1.32 billion at Dec. 31, 2018. Gross debt remains targeted at $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion and stood at $1.37 billion at Dec. 31, 2018.
Peabody (NYSE: BTU) is the leading global pure-play coal company and a member of the Fortune 500, serving power and steel customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. Peabody offers significant scale, high-quality assets, and diversity in geography and products. Peabody is guided by seven core values: safety, sustainability, leadership, customer focus, integrity, excellence and people. For further information, visit PeabodyEnergy.com.
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