Marriott International Inc. announces that its board of directors has declared the issuance of a cash dividend in the amount of US$0.04 per share on each share of Class A common stock outstanding of the company, payable on April 9 to shareholders of record on February 19.
“Given the level of economic uncertainty and the higher leverage ratios faced by the company in 2009, the board of directors decided it would be prudent to pay the last three quarterly dividends in stock rather than cash,” says Arne Sorenson, president and chief operating officer. “Through operating cash flow, reductions in investment activity and other cash management, the company was able to reduce its total debt levels by almost US$800 million, to US$2.3 billion, by year-end 2009. With this debt reduction, the board of directors has agreed with management’s recommendation to return to a cash dividend.”
Shareholders will not be required to take any action as the company transitions from a stock to a cash dividend. Checks will be generated reflecting both share amounts in investors’ book entry accounts and where shares are held in a brokerage account in the name of a broker. The cash dividend is administered by BNY Mellon Shareowner Services, the company’s transfer agent.