JPM Slashes Dividend 87%

About time:

“J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. slashed its quarterly dividend late Monday to save $5 billion a year and said that its first-quarter has been “solidly profitable” so far.

Shares of the giant bank climbed 4.7% to $20.42 during after-hours trading. The stock closed down 2% at $19.51 during regular trading.

The quarterly dividend will be 5 cents a share in future, down from 38 cents. That will help J.P. Morgan (JPM) retain $5 billion in common equity a year, bolstering its financial strength in case the recession is longer and deeper than expected.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures,” said Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan, in a statement. “Our action today is being done as a strong precautionary measure to help ensure that our fortress balance sheet remains intact — even if conditions worsen significantly.”

What the hell took so long?

The entire sector should have ceased dividends the instant they started receiving taxpayer dollars . . .


J.P. Morgan cuts dividend to save $5 billion a year
Alistair Barr
MarketWatch 7:12 p.m. EST Feb. 23, 2009

JPMorgan Slashes Dividend 87% in `Precautionary’ Step to Preserve Capital
Elizabeth Hester
Bloomberg, Feb. 23 2009

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