Freeport-McMoRan's Stock Falls After Quarterly Dividend Slashed 84%

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Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. slid 2.7% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the world's largest copper producer slashed its quarterly dividend by 84% in response to the negative impact of lower commodity prices. The company said it would pay a dividend of 5 cents a share on May 1, to shareholders of record on April 15, below the previous dividend rate of 31.25 cents a share. "The reduction in the dividend is a prudent measure to strengthen our balance sheet during a period of volatile market conditions," the company's executives said in a statement. "As previously announced, our plans include significant reductions in capital spending and other costs and we are evaluating funding opportunities for capital expenditures in our oil and gas business." The stock has lost 17% year to date through Monday's close, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.

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