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Apr 15, 2020

Vermilion Energy suspends dividend after two cuts

Jaime Carrasco discusses Vermilion Energy

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Vermilion Energy Inc. is pulling the plug on its dividend as COVID-19 batters the global energy industry.

The Calgary-based oil-and-gas producer announced it is opting to suspend its payout to shareholders due to ever-lower commodity prices, which it pinned on the pandemic's impact on global demand for oil. The suspension is effective after Wednesday’s scheduled payment.

"As we have previously stated, we are attuned to evolving business conditions and are prepared to make further adjustments to all forms of cash outlays to protect Vermilion's financial position," the company said in a release, adding it "fully intends" to eventually resume returning cash to shareholders.

Vermilion's dividend had for months been the source of speculation on Bay Street as the company's yield climbed into double digits.

On March 6, the company chopped the monthly dividend in half to $0.115 per share, starting with the April 15 payment.

Ten days later, on March 16, Vermilion took the dividend down to $0.02 per share, effective as of the May payment, amid deteriorating commodity prices.