: Hawaiian Electric halts dividend to shore up cash position after Maui wildfires


Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. HE, -2.06% said late Thursday that it is suspending its dividend, starting in the third quarter, “to further increase its cash position.” That will allow the company to continue to allocate cash to “rebuilding and restoring power and ensure a strong future for the utility,” it said. The utility is contractually obligated to pay a cash dividend of 36 cents a share on Sept. 8, a dividend declared on Aug. 3, just days before the blazes that devastated the Maui town of Lahaina and other parts of the island. “We are working with the county, state and federal governments to determine what happened in the course of an extraordinary climatological event” on Aug. 8, the company said. “Others may take advantage of this situation to engage in speculation and opportunism, but our focus continues to be on the restoration, recovery and rebuilding efforts in our communities.” Earlier Thursday, Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric over the fires, saying the utility failed to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions. The stock dropped 6% in the extended session, after ending the regular trading day down 2%.

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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