Range Resources suspends dividend, cuts 2020 capital expenditure

(Reuters) - Range Resources Corp RRC.N said on Monday it will suspend its dividend and cut capital expenditure for the year, as the natural gas producer focuses on reducing debt.

The company, which had declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share in December, said its dividend commitments were about $20 million annually.

Shale producers have been reining in their spending, aiming to meet investor demands for higher returns and debt reduction.

The Texas-based company had total debt of $3.16 billion as of Sept. 30, 2019, according to its latest quarterly filing.

Range Resources also said it plans to lower its capital spending to about $520 million for 2020. The company now expects 2019 capex to be $728 million, about $28 million less than the original budget.

The company said it would maintain 2020 production at about 2.3 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) per day.

Range expects fourth-quarter production for 2019 at the high end of its prior outlook of between 2.33 Bcfe and 2.35 Bcfe per day.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta