By Drew FitzGerald
AT&T Inc. reassured investors its cash cushion is ample enough to ride out the current virus-induced economic downturn.
The telecom and media giant is one of the largest dividend payers and one of the most indebted corporate giants. It had a net debt total of $151 billion at the end of last year. It pays out $15 billion in annual dividends. The dividend yield on common stock is nearly 6.8% as of Tuesday.
The Dallas company told stockholders its December-end $12 billion cash pile showed its financial strength and said it has "no need or plans" in 2020 to use the $15 billion revolving credit facility it has on hand.
AT&T also said "it looks forward to continuing to pay a quarterly dividend" but skipped any mention of dividend increases, which the company has provided for the past 36 years. The dividend yield on common stock is nearly 6.8% as of Tuesday.
AT&T's shares gained 4% to $30.62 midday amid a broader market rally. The company reports first-quarter earnings on April 22.
Write to Drew FitzGerald at Drew.FitzGerald@WSJ.com