Westwood Holdings Group cuts dividend by more than 40 percent

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. (WHG) will cuts its quarterly dividend by 40.3 percent to 43 cents per share. This ends 17 consecutive years of annual dividend increases by the mutual fund company.

The next dividend is payable on April 1, 2020 to stockholders of record on March 6, 2020. The new annual dividend rate of $1.72 per share translates into a dividend yield of 5.9 pct at a stock price of $29.

From the company's press release: Brian Casey, Westwood’s President and CEO, commented, “We were very pleased to see all of our US Value and Multi-Asset strategies delivering some of their best years of outperformance. Our institutional sales team continues to ramp up activity, and our intermediary sales group posted its best monthly sales for the past three years in December. Our progress in developing distribution and creating efficiencies through technological innovation validates the investments we have been making to reposition our platform for long term growth. We are very encouraged that attractive M&A opportunities continue to surface, and our business platform is well positioned for an accretive acquisition. We fully expect our business to resume its growth trajectory through emerging and proven avenues. To increase our financial flexibility, we are shifting our capital return approach for shareholders by increasing our current available share repurchase program by $10 million to a total of $12.9 million while reducing our dividend payout."

Another US company lowering its dividend last week is Spirit AeroSystems.

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. provides investment management services to institutional investors, private wealth clients and financial intermediaries. The firm has $15.2 billion in assets under management, of which $2.3 billion are in values-based, global-sanctions compliant and socially responsible investment mandates as of December 31, 2019. Westwood offers a range of investment strategies including U.S. equities, Multi-Asset, Emerging Markets equities, Global Convertible securities and Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) portfolios. Access to these strategies is available through separate accounts, the Westwood Funds® family of mutual funds, UCITS funds and other pooled vehicles. Westwood benefits from significant, broad-based employee ownership and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WHG.” Based in Dallas, Westwood also maintains offices in Toronto, Boston and Houston.

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