Silver Wheaton Changes How Dividends Are Calculated

In an effort to increase the stability of its quarterly dividend, silver streamer Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW  ) is changing the way it calculates its payout.

Instead of basing the dividend on the cash generated by operating activities in the previous quarter, it will now base it on the cash generated by operating activities in the prior four quarters. (The dividend is 20% of the cash.)

To transition to this new payment scheme, Silver Wheaton will for the second quarter use the cash generated by operating activities in the previous two quarters while the third quarter dividend will be calculated using the cash generated by operating activities in the previous three quarters.

As a result, Silver Wheaton's second-quarter dividend under the new schedule will be $0.12 per share and will be payable as of the close of business on May 31 to shareholders of record as of May 23. In comparison, the dividend paid using the old method of calculation would have been $0.09 per share, the company said in announcing the change Friday. The company's previous dividend, was $0.14.

Silver Wheaton is the largest precious metals streaming company in the world with 2013 attributable production estimated to be approximately 33.5 million silver equivalent ounces, including 145,000 ounces of gold.

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