CEZ Set for Lowest Close Since ’05 on Dividend Cut: Prague Mover

CEZ AS (CEZ) headed for its lowest level in almost eight years after the biggest Czech utility reduced its dividend.

The stock dropped 1.2 percent to 559.6 koruna by 1:01 p.m. in Prague, set for the weakest close since August 2005. More than 290,000 shares changed hands, 54 percent of the three-month daily average.

Majority state-owned CEZ will pay 40 koruna a share, or 64 percent of its 2012 profit, the company said yesterday after the stock market closed. Miroslav Adamkovic, an analyst at Komercni Banka AS in Prague, said today he had expected CEZ to keep its dividend at last year’s level of 45 koruna.

“The news is negative for CEZ shares,” Adamkovic wrote in an e-mailed report to clients.

Utilities were the second-worst performers today among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The continent’s benchmark power contract for next-year delivery in Germany, where CEZ exports part of its output, retreated 0.6 percent to 38.95 euros a megawatt-hour, heading for the lowest close since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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