NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC announced today that certain closed end funds have declared their distributions for the month of February 2019.
The following dates apply to the distribution schedule below:
|Month||Record Date||Ex-Dividend Date||Payable Date|
|Ticker||Fund Name||Amount|| |
Change from Previous
|CEM||ClearBridge MLP and Midstream Fund Inc.||$0.2950||(0.0600)|
|EMO||ClearBridge Energy Midstream Opportunity Fund Inc.1||$0.2300||(0.0900)|
ClearBridge MLP and Midstream Total Return Fund Inc.
1 Prior to the close of business on November 16, 2018, Clearbridge Energy Midstream Opportunity Fund Inc. was known as ClearBridge Energy MLP Opportunity Fund Inc.
During 2018, more than ten midstream companies announced simplification transactions to eliminate incentive distribution rights (IDRs), lower cost of capital, strengthen balance sheets, and/or improve distribution coverage ratios. The Portfolio Managers believe the resulting companies are better capitalized and better positioned for sustainable growth looking forward. However, most of these simplification strategies have resulted in lower distributable cash flow to the Funds. This, in combination with some balance sheet deleveraging in the fourth quarter 2018, resulted in reduced quarterly distributions for the Funds. The new distribution level is consistent with the Funds’ projected distributable cash flow for 2019.
Despite challenging 2018 midstream stock price performance, the Portfolio Managers continue to see cash flow growth driven by increasing U.S. crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids production. Visible cash flow growth, improved balance sheets, rising distribution coverage ratios, lower equity issuance and near record low valuations, leave, in the Portfolio Managers’ view, the midstream sector well positioned for 2019.
The distributions may be treated as dividend income, return of capital or a combination thereof for tax purposes. This press release is not for tax reporting purposes. In early 2020, after definitive information is available, the Funds will send stockholders a Form 1099-DIV, if applicable, specifying how the distributions paid by the Funds during the prior calendar year should be characterized for purposes of reporting the distributions on a stockholder’s tax return (e.g., dividend income or return of capital).
For more information about the Funds, please call 1-888-777-0102 or consult the Funds’ website at www.lmcef.com. Hard copies of the Funds’ complete audited financial statements are available free of charge upon request.
Data and commentary provided in this press release are for informational purposes only. Legg Mason and its affiliates do not engage in selling shares of the Funds.