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Martin Midstream Partners stock plummets toward record low after dividend cut in half, surprise loss

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Martin Midstream Partners L.P. plummeted 17% toward a record low, after the provider of natural-gas and other energy-related services cut its dividend in half, after part of its plan to strengthen its balance sheet, and reported a surprise first-quarter loss. The company's new quarterly distribution was reduced to 25 cents a share from 50 cents. Based on Wednesday's stock closing price of $9.84, the new annual dividend rate would lower the dividend yield to 10.16% from 20.33%. In comparison, the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF's dividend yield is 3.07% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 is 1.96%, according to FactSet. Among other strategic actions the company is taking, the company said it is in "active negotiation" over the sale of certain non-core assets and businesses. Separately, the company said it swung to a net loss of $3.7 million, or 9 cents a share, from a profit of $13.5 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago, compared with the FactSet consensus of a profit of 22 cents a share. Revenue fell to $251 million from $307 million, missing the FactSet consensus of $299 million. the stock has lost 4.3% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 17%.