With Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. (WBD), AT&T has formally split off its media division. On Monday, WBD began trading on its own for the first time. Although T lowered its dividend as part of the split, the payout remains hefty at $1.11 per share annually, which is a subject of concern for many T stockholders. The dividend yield is 5.7% based on Monday’s closing price of $19.63 per share. This places it among the S&P 500’s top ten highest-yielding stocks.
The split of WarnerMedia by T was finalized on Friday, and the equities began trading independently on Monday. The media division of the telecom giant was later combined with Discovery to become Warner Bros. the discovery (WBD). Tâ€™s telecom operations in 5G wireless and fiber optic wired internet have been refocused as a result of the makeover. However, it entails a smaller business with a lot of capital-intensive investment requirements. The move included a decrease in dividend payouts.
Before the WarnerMedia split, T’s total dividend payout was $2.08 per share in 2021, with the stock yielding almost 8%. Because it didn’t raise its dividend last year, the firm was dropped from the Dividend Aristocrats Index.
T will pay its first dividend at the new rate on May 2, with a record date of April 14. The quarterly dividend will be paid out at a rate of $27.75 per share. T’s dividend obligation will be roughly $8 billion each year, representing a payment ratio of nearly 40% of management’s forecast for $20 billion in free cash flow in 2023. T shareholders received about 0.24 shares of Warner Bros. as part of the split. In the form of a stock dividend, they received Discovery stock for each T share they owned. Based on WBD stock’s closing price of $24.78 on Monday, that’s around $5.95 per share.
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