Dividend Change: -25%
Back in February, integrated communications company CenturyLink (CTL) cut its quarterly dividend from 72.5 cents per share to 54 cents in conjunction with weak fiscal fourth-quarter results and the announcement of the company’s expectation that its debt would be downgraded to “junk.” The company said it was reducing its payout to front-run the 2015 expiration of tax credits related to the acquisitions of Qwest Communications (CTQ) and Embarq.
The only decent piece of news out of that mess: a $2 billion stock repurchase program, also expected to be completed before 2015.
Investors immediately hit CTL shares, and while they’ve recovered somewhat since February, they’re still 15% in the red year-to-date. More recently, CenturyLink said in May that it still expected revenues to decline between 0.5% and 1.5%, helping to keep its shares on the ground.