(Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co HAL.N slashed its quarterly dividend by 75% on Wednesday, the latest move by the company to shore up cash to cope with a dramatic plunge in oil prices that began in March.
U.S. oil prices CLc1 experienced historic drops throughout March and April, brought on by the demand destruction caused by coronavirus-related lockdowns and a price war between producing nations.
As oil and gas explorers slam the brakes on drilling to survive low prices, companies like Halliburton that provide drilling equipment and services have taken a major beating.
Each of the three service providers have also slashed their spending plans for the year, with Halliburton’s 50% reduction among the deepest in the industry.
Halliburton has already lowered salaries for the company’s executives and cut roughly 1,000 jobs from its headquarters in Houston as part of a plan to reduce $1 billion of costs.
The company set a dividend of $0.045 per share payable on June 24, down from $0.18 per share paid on March 25.
Schlumberger, the world’s largest services provider, slashed its dividend by 75% last month.
Members of Halliburton’s board also agreed to reduce their annual retainer by 20% on Wednesday.
Halliburton’s shares rose about 3% in premarket trading as U.S. crude oil prices climbed to $32.18 a barrel. Still, both Halliburton’s shares and U.S. crude are at about half of what they began the year at.
Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Maju Samuel
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