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3 Stocks That Have Cut Their Dividends

It has been a rocky year for the stock market.

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) looks likely to shed 15% for 2015. While a falling stock market can be discomforting, some companies have actually made positive business developments such as raising their dividends.

Unfortunately, there are also companies which have piled on the misery by cutting their dividends. Here are three such firms.

Tough going

Singapore’s media giant Singapore Press Holdings Limited  (SGX: T39) had paid a dividend of $0.20 per share for its financial year ended 31 August 2015 (FY2015). That’s down slightly from the $0.21 per share seen in FY2014.

Singapore Press Holdings’ lower dividend comes on the back of a fall in its media segment’s revenue which declined by 6% during the year. Notably, the company’s dividend has been inching downwards over the past few years since FY2012.

Palm oil outfit Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H) is another company that has cut its dividends. The firm lowered its interim dividend for its fiscal third-quarter from $0.00408 per share in 2014 to zero this year. This comes after a hefty decline for the company in both revenue and profit in the first nine months of 2015.

Lower oil prices have hampered the business of SembCorp Marine Ltd (SGX: S51) severely. The rig builder had cut its interim dividend in 2015 by 20% compared to the year before. The dividend cut came on the back of a tougher operating environment which has led to big double-digit percentage declines in the top-line and bottom-line for the first nine months of 2015.

Furthermore, SembCorp Marine is expecting to clock a loss in the fourth-quarter of the year and is currently involved in a contract dispute with its customer, Marco Polo Marine Ltd  (SGX: 5LY), over a terminated jack-up rig order.

Foolish takeaway

Dividend decreases may be unpleasant. But as Foolish investors, we might want to dig a little further to understand the reasons behind the decreases and determine whether the cuts may continue in the future.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.