Extendicare cuts monthly dividend to four cents per share from seven cents

MARKHAM, Ont. – Extendicare Inc. (TSX:EXE) said Monday it was cutting its monthly dividend to four cents per share from seven cents per share starting with its May dividend.

The company said the dividend cut was due to changes in the U.S. operating environment including significant cuts in government funding, increases in alternative care and increased regulation.

“The company’s U.S. cash flow will principally be used to enhance operations, provide financial flexibility and become responsive to future changes in funding,” president and chief executive Tim Lukenda said in a statement.

“We have made the decision to reduce dividends to a level that allows us to be adaptable to an evolving U.S. health care marketplace and provides the strength and flexibility we require to navigate uncertainty in the near term.”

The company said Monday that it expects to report first-quarter funds from operations of 17 cents per basic share and adjusted funds from operations of 21 cents per basic share.

It expects to announce its full financial results on May 9.

Extendicare owns and operates more than 200 senior care centres in North America with a capacity for roughly 27,100 residents.