What: Shares of Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK) are down 12% as of 3:00 p.m. EST today, as oil prices slide, and the company announced the payment of its dividend. Apparently, several of Teekay's shareholders didn't get the memo that the company had cut its dividend by 90% last month. Similarly, shares of its subsidiary partnerships, Teekay LNG partners (NYSE:TGP) and Teekay Offshore Partners (NYSE:TOO), are also down 8% and 10%, respectively.
So What: For the sake of the investors who are pulling out of Teekay today, let's hope that they're doing so because of the decline in oil and gas prices, and how that will impact charter rates for ships, because we've known about Teekay's lower dividend for more than a month now. The 90% cut was made because the cash payments coming from Teekay LNG Partners and Teekay Offshore Partners were also cut in order to fund growth of the respective fleets with internally generated cash rather than from other sources, such as debt or equity. With access to capital becoming more and more constrained by the day, these two funding sources were simply becoming too expensive to justify its current dividends.
Now What: The one thing that this sell-off overlooks is that both Teekay LNG Partners and Teekay Offshore Partners have a vast majority of their ships locked into long-term charters that ensure certain levels of revenue and cash flow. Unless we start to see significant contract renegotiations, these cash flows are pretty well protected.
Today's dip might be a market overreaction. Longer term, however, there is a possibility that growth may not come as quickly as originally planned, but there's still enough strength in today's operations that investors should think very hard before making any moves out of this stock.
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