Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

Coal India Lowers Dividend by 32% With $1.7 Billion Payout

  • Dividend cut to 18.75 rupees/share from 27.4 rupees last year
  • Dividends are retaining investor interest in miner: analyst

Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest miner of the fuel, lowered an interim dividend payout to shareholders by almost a third from a year earlier as employee costs increased.

Shareholders will get 18.75 rupees a share, down from 27.4 rupees a year earlier, and the payout will cost the Kolkata-based company 116.4 billion rupees ($1.7 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations based on a stock exchange filing. The company has set March 15 as the record date for the payout.

The dividend comes amid declines in the company’s profits as provisions to account for retroactive salary increases weighed on earnings. Coal India produces more than 80 percent of the country’s coal.

“Dividend payouts are the only thing that’s still retaining investors’ interest in the stock,” Goutam Chakraborty, an analyst with Emkay Global Financial Services, said before the announcement. “A lower payout than last year will be negative for the stock.”

Coal India shares rose 0.3 percent to 324 rupees as of 9:40 a.m. in Mumbai. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was little changed.

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