The Atlas Arteria Group (ASX: ALX) share price has closed 3.98% lower today. The fall in the Atlas Arteria share prices comes after the company’s ASX announcement earlier today regarding its dividend payment for the 6 months ending 30 June.
The toll road company’s share price was savaged by the wider COVID-19 market selloff earlier this year, dropping 47% from 3 February to 23 March.
Since that low, the Atlas Arteria share price has rebounded nearly 45%. Despite that strong run higher, year to date the share price remains down more than 20%.
Atlas Arteria is part of the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). By contrast the ASX 200 is down 13% for the year.
What does Atlas Arteria do?
Atlas Arteria Group (formerly Macquarie Atlas Roads) owns, operates and develops toll roads around the world. The company has four toll roads across the United States, France and Germany. Its APRR motorway network in France is Europe’s fourth-largest motorway group.
In 2010, Atlas Arteria was created through the splitting of Macquarie Infrastructure Group into two separate ASX-listed toll road companies: Macquarie Atlas Roads, now known as Atlas Arteria, and Intoll, which was subsequently acquired by a Canadian company.
Atlas Arteria has a market capitalisation of $6.2 billion.
What’s moving the Atlas Arteria share price?
The Atlas Arteria share price is today moving lower after the company announced an unfranked distribution of 11 cents per stapled security for the 6 months ending 30 June. Atlas Arteria estimates the payment will be made on 5 October. Shares begin to trade ex-entitlement this Friday 25 September.
Although the dividend payment is in line with the guidance the company provided on 27 August in its half year results, investors may be disappointed Atlas Arteria didn’t exceed that guidance. 11 cents per share is the lowest payout shareholders have received since 2017.
Investors are also still concerned with the ongoing impact that coronavirus is having on the company’s toll road revenues. A second wave of infections is building momentum in two of its core markets — Germany and France. Meanwhile, high infection levels in the United States continue to hinder travel there.
Those are valid short and even mid-term concerns. But with progress being made on the treatment and vaccine fronts, and global governments opening the purse strings to fund major road projects, the current Atlas Arteria share price could look like a bargain by this time next year.
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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.
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