Is DryShips Dividend Announcement As Nuts As It Sounds?
Of all the companies that I thought might initiate a quarterly dividend, DryShips (DRYS) probably would have been near the bottom of the list. Nevertheless, the news came down last night that the company is initiating a policy that will see it pay $2.5 million quarterly to shareholders with the possibility of more depending on financial performance. Where that money will come from remains to be seen.
To be fair, let's look at the positive and negative of this move.
- Management confidence in where the business is at and is going.
- Signals a possible bottom in the shipping industry.
- How in the world can they afford this? They had free cash flow of -$300 million in 2016 and haven’t been free cash flow positive since 2010.
- The company just completed a $200 million stock offering in order to raise cash for operations.
- In January, the stock completed a 1-for-8 reverse split, not the type of activity that typically precedes a dividend announcement.
Based on roughly 36 million shares outstanding, the dividend is estimated to ultimately be around $0.07 per share. That computes to a forward yield of around 13%.
Personally, I think this dividend announcement makes absolutely no sense. The company is hemorrhaging money at a remarkable rate. In the past year, the stock has lost 99% of its value. Revenue has dropped off a cliff. And now’s the time to declare a dividend? Maybe the $200 million cash raise will fund the dividend for a while but this seems pretty unsustainable.
This seems like stock price manipulation more than anything. The stock is up well over 10% so clearly somebody likes the news, but remember that a dividend can be cancelled at a moment’s notice. I’m running, not walking, away from this stock.
AGREE = Yes, this idea is bad.
DISAGREE = No, this idea is good.
What do you think? Do you think DryShips should be paying a dividend to shareholders right now? Vote and post in the comments below. Requires signing in. That’s easy: Just use your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or StockTwits credentials.