Woolworths dividend, credit rating at risk

 In Australia, NewZealand, Woolworths
Woolworths’ dividends and credit rating are at risk after the retailer cut profit guidance and flagged it would accelerate a three-year turnaround plan to arrest declining supermarket sales.
Analysts believe the Woolworths board may cut dividends by at least 30 per cent and reduce its payout ratio from 70 per cent to about 50 per cent to preserve cash, strengthen its balance sheet and avoid another downgrade to its credit rating after losing its long-term A rating in August.
Moody’s vice president and senior analyst Ian Chitterer said the Woolworths board needed to make tough decisions, including cutting the dividend and potentially sell assets such as BIG W, Masters and even New Zealand supermarkets. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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