Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras’ (PETR4.SA) board of directors on Friday approved a new shareholder remuneration policy that will trim its hefty dividend and allow share buybacks, according to a securities filing.
Under the new policy, Petrobras’ quarterly dividend will have to be at least 45% of its free cash flow, down from the current 60%, when the firm’s gross debt is below $65 billion.
It will also allow the company to repurchase shares.
The move is part of a broader strategy switch for the firm led by CEO Jean Paul Prates, who told Reuters earlier this month that investors should not get used to the blockbuster dividends they enjoyed last year, adding the new policy would be “adjusted” to the reality of a company investing in the future.
The change in policy marks a swift away from a period in which the company was a major cash cow to its investors, at times paying far more than any of the biggest international oil producers.
In 2022, Petrobras paid a total of 215.8 billion reais to its shareholders, including the Brazilian government, which holds a controlling stake in the firm.
Petrobras will announce its second-quarter dividends and earnings on Aug. 3 after the market closes.