Monaco Coach Corp., the leading diesel pusher motorhome manufacturer, announced today (Feb. 23) that it would pay its first-ever dividend to shareholders about three weeks from now.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed company will pay a 5 cents-per-share cash dividend on March 18 to shareholders of record as of March 4.
Monaco has about 28.6 million shares outstanding, so its first regular cash dividend payout will amount to a little more than $1.4 million.
“We believe that a consistent dividend program is a further sign of our company’s financial strength and optimistic business outlook,” said Kay Toolson, chairman and CEO. “It is our objective to reward our stockholders with cash dividends as well as increasing share appreciation, while at the same time maintaining our strong financial position. We believe our dividend program will help us accomplish these goals.”
Monaco’s stock has reached new 52-week highs in recent weeks because of the RV industry’s positive outlook for 2004 and Monaco’s strong recovery during the second half of 2003, which followed a difficult first half caused by the accumulation of excess inventories around the time of beginning of the war with Iraq.
Monaco also is in a position to begin paying a dividend because it significantly reduced its debt during 2003. The company lowered its long-term debt from $30.3 million as of Dec. 28, 2002, to $15 million as of last Jan. 3, and it reduced its total current liabilities from $241.9 million as of late 2002 to $159.9 million as of early this year.
On Friday (Feb. 20), Monaco’s shares closed at $27.50. Its 52-week high is $28.79. The 52-week low is $9.01.