Pay Out or Stay Out? Dividends In Doubt as Australian Profits Catch Virus

Australian companies are likely to deliver smaller dividends in what is forecast to be the country’s worst earnings season in a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic, with even firms that benefited from the upheaval expected to show caution, Reuters reported. Fund managers and analysts expect the corporate results season that begins this week to reveal an overall decline in profits of around one-fifth due to the abrupt shutdowns that followed the virus outbreak. That’s bad news for dividend payouts, which are closely watched in Australia, where around two million people, or 8% of the population, manage their own retirement income. Investing in stocks is popular, particularly given record low interest rates have made bonds and cash savings an unattractive alternative. Read more