Wheaton hikes dividend on record gold output
Wheaton Precious Metals has declared its first quarterly cash dividend payment for 2020 of $0.10 per common share, an 11% increase relative to the prior period, owing to strong operating results last year.
For the first time in its history, the precious metals streaming company produced over 400,000 ounces of gold in a single year, in addition to 22.5 million ounces of silver and 22,000 ounces of palladium. Gold sales volumes were approximately 390,000 ounces, also a record high.
For 2020, Wheaton’s estimated production is forecast to be 390,000 to 410,000 ounces of gold, 22.0 to 23.5 million ounces of silver, and 23,000 to 24,500 ounces of palladium.
Wheaton’s portfolio of “high-quality, long-life” assets generated over $500 million in operating cash flow in 2019, president and CEO Randy Smallwood said. As a result, the company managed to reduce net debt by $418 million in 2019, ending the year with net debt of $771 million.
Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $861 million, representing an 8% increase from 2018.
Under the company’s dividend policy, the quarterly dividend payout is targeted to equal approximately 30% of the average cash generated by operating activities in the previous four quarters.
The newly announced dividend of $0.10 per share would serve as a minimum quarterly dividend in order to minimize volatility. Under the new minimum dividend policy, the forecast annualized dividend for 2020 would represent an increase of more than 90% over a five-year period.