The Financial Post reports in its Friday, Feb. 19, edition that Barrick Gold and Newmont unveiled higher dividends after trouncing Wall Street earnings estimates.
A Reuters dispatch to the Pos reports that the 25-per-cent surge in gold prices last year, supported by unprecedented stimulus measures, has offered miners a lifeline following production disruptions due to COVID-19.
Cost-conscious executives are also prioritizing investor returns over production growth, hesitating to spend on pricey projects that often take years to break even.
Barrick left its quarterly payout unchanged at nine cents per share, while proposing a $750-million (U.S.) special dividend for 2021 after it sold assets worth $1.5-billion (U.S.) last year.
The special payout provided an opportunity for Barrick to assess the economic environment before deciding on any formal dividend policy.
Barrick's capital return plan comes days after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway exited its interest in the miner.
Newmont raised its quarterly dividend by 38 per cent and pledged to return up to 60 per cent of incremental free cash flow to shareholders, provided gold prices stay above $1,200 (U.S.) per ounce.
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