Occidental Petroleum Slashes Dividend 86% and Will Cut Capex After Oil-Price Decline

Occidental Petroleum slashed its quarterly dividend 86% to 11 cents a share from 79 cents and said it would reduce capital spending by about a third in the wake of the drop in oil prices.
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Occidental Petroleum  (OXY) - Get Report said it would cut its quarterly dividend payout 86% to 11 cents a share from 79 cents, effective in July, and would slash capital spending in the wake of the decline in oil prices. 

The Houston oil major plans to cut 2020 capital spending to between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion from previous expectations between $5.2 billion and $5.4 billion. 

The company also said it would implement additional operating- and corporate-cost reductions. 

"Due to the sharp decline in global commodity prices, we are taking actions that will strengthen our balance sheet and continue to reduce debt," Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said in a statement. 

Oil prices have been under heavy pressure this week. They saw their single largest daily decline in nearly 30 years after Saudi Arabia and Russia both stated that they would pump more oil into the market in a battle for market share after failing to reach an agreement. 

Saudi Arabia cut its official crude pricing while also threatening to flood the market with record output. Meanwhile, Russia's largest producer also said that it would ramp up production next month.

Oil prices were showing signs of recovery on Tuesday, with international benchmark Brent crude rising 6.5% to $36.58 and U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude climbing 6.9% to $33.28.

"These actions lower our cash-flow break-even level to the low $30s WTI, excluding the benefit of our hedges, positioning us to succeed in a low-commodity-price environment," Hollub said. 

Occidental shares at last check were 13% higher at $14.11. 

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