Occidental Boosts Dividend, Buyback Plan, Sells Hugoton Field for ~$1.4B
On Thursday, Occidental Petroleum Corporation's (NYSE: OXY) management announced the sale of Hugoton Field Assets and an increase in its annual dividend.
Occidental announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell Hugoton Field Assets to an undisclosed buyer for pre-tax proceeds of $1.4 billion. The sale is part of the company's review to "streamline and focus operations where it has depth and scale in order to better execute the Company's long-term strategy and enhance value for shareholders."
According to the press release, Occidental anticipates that, upon regulatory approval and adjustments, the transaction will be completed by April 30, 2014. The company expects to report a gain on the sale of the one of the largest natural gas fields in the United States.
In a separate press release, Occidental's Board of Directors announced an increase to the company's annual dividend. The Board raised the dividend from $2.56 to $2.88 per share. Furthermore, the Board authorized the repurchase of an additional 30 million shares of stock. The press release states, "The program does not require purchases to be made within a particular timeframe. Share repurchases will continue to be funded from available cash from operations, excess cash on hand and proceeds from asset sales as part of the previously announced strategic review."
President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen I. Chazen commented, "The dividend increase reflects our commitment to growing Occidental's dividend annually, and we will continue to make share repurchases as opportunities arise. These actions demonstrate our confidence in the Company's financial strength and future performance."
Shares of Occidental Petroleum closed at $91.77 on Thursday.
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