Dividend Massacre in This Crisis is Already Breaking Records, but it Just Started

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

The old saw that dividend stocks are good for bear markets is actually a high-risk gamble.

Dividend yield can be an irresistible siren song in the era of central-bank interest-rate and bond-yield repression: Harley Davidson’s dividend yield was over 7% until this morning – when it announced that it would slash its dividend by 95%, from 38 cents to a symbolic 2 cents to conserve cash. Going forward, the dividend yield will be close to 0%.

GM, whose dividend yield was an alluring 6.5%, announced yesterday that it would eliminate its dividend altogether to save about $2 billion in cash; and going forward, its dividend yield will be 0%. Ford had a dividend yield of over 11% before it eliminated its dividend.

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