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Hercules cuts quarterly dividend by 70%

SHARE Hercules cuts quarterly dividend by 70%

WILMINGTON, Del. — Specialty-chemicals maker Hercules Inc. said Friday it slashed its quarterly dividend 70 percent to save money.

A quarterly dividend of 8 cents, down from 27 cents, will be paid Sept. 29 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 6.

"This dividend change will provide an additional $80 million annually for debt reduction, increasing our financial flexibility and establishing an appropriate dividend payout ratio for today's environment," chief executive Vincent J. Corbo said.

Hercules, based in Wilmington, Del., earlier this summer cited disappointing results at its process-chemicals segment and higher interest expenses in warning that second-quarter results would fall well short of Wall Street's estimates. Wall Street analysts then lowered their expectations to 22 cents from 37 cents a share.

Sales fell to $822 million from $833 million.

Last month, Hercules sold a 10 percent stake in the company to chemicals maker International Specialty Products Inc., also of Wilmington, Del., for $153 million.