Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Don't upset the share-holders

Heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar, denim-maker Levi Strauss, toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker, furniture manufacturer Steelcase and World Wrestling Entertainment have doled out more than $700 million to shareholders in cash dividends while slashing jobs and shuttering facilities, The Washington Post reported. 

Caterpillar, for example, announced a $500 million distribution to shareholders in early April, according to the report, about two weeks after it announced that it was “temporarily suspending operations at certain facilities.” 

Levi Strauss announced that it would distribute $32 million to shareholders on April 7, the same day that the company said it would furlough retail workers. About 4,000 workers have been affected.

Stanley Black & Decker announced in early April that it would furlough and lay off “non-essential” workers. It distributed $106 million in dividends to shareholders just two weeks later.

Steelcase announced in March that it would cut operations in four states. It announced the same day that it would issue a dividend of roughly $8 million to shareholders. Earlier that month, the company bought back $38 million in stock from shareholders.

The WWE cut 10% of its workers and fired about 20 wrestlers a day before it announced $9 million in dividends for shareholders.

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