Teck Resources Ltd. said on Wednesday it raised its dividend payout to shareholders, giving back some of the $4-billion-plus in cash it has amassed amid years of prudent spending.
The Vancouver-based diversified miner said it would pay an eligible dividend of $0.45 per share on its outstanding class A common shares and class B subordinate voting shares on Jan. 2, a 12.5-per-cent increase from the previous dividend.
The move reflects a growing trend among global miners to give more back to shareholders and keep them loyal as many investors shy from an industry better known in recent years for a single-minded focus on growth at any cost.
Teck, Canada’s largest diversified miner, announced just last month that it would defer some $1.5-billion in capital spending over the next year or so, making it the latest in a string of Canadian resource companies to rewrite spending plans in response to rising costs and an unpredictable outlook for the global economy.
That move raised the question among many about what the company planned to do with a cash position of $4.2-billion and growing, and there has been some speculation the company might turn to acquisitions.
Teck executives said in presenting third quarter results last month that they would eventually need cash when deferred projects resume.
Teck paid a $0.40 per share dividend in July.