Why is the Westpac share price sliding lower today?

Investors will be locking in the company’s latest dividend today…

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Key points

  • Westpac shares are falling by almost 4% as they trade ex-dividend today
  • Eligible investors will receive a dividend payment of 61 cents per share on 24 June
  • The interim dividend reflects a 5.2% increase over the prior corresponding period

The Aussie share market is heading south today following Wall Street’s biggest loss overnight since October 2020, and the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is following suit.

Markets returned to heavy selling after major retailers, Target and Walmart, released their disappointing quarterly reports.

In early morning trade, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is sinking by 1.8% to 7,053 points.

But the Westpac share price is faring considerably worse. At the time of writing, the company’s shares are down 3.85% to $23.50.

So what’s going on with the big four bank today?

Shareholders set eyes on the Westpac interim dividend

With the earning season wrapped up for a majority of the major banks, the Westpac share price is trading ex-dividend today.

This comes after the bank delivered its half-year results on 9 May, reporting a reduction across key financial metrics.

Nonetheless, the board opted to increase its upcoming interim dividend by 5.2% over the prior corresponding period.

Typically, one business day before the record date, the ex-dividend date, is when investors must have purchased shares. If the investor does not buy Westpac shares before this date, the dividend will go to the seller.

When can shareholders expect to be paid?

For those eligible for Westpac’s interim dividend, shareholders will receive a payment of 61 cents per share on 24 June. The dividend is fully franked at a corporate tax rate of 30%, which means investors will receive tax credits.

In addition, investors can elect for the dividend reinvestment plan (DRP) which will add a portion of shares to their portfolio instead. This will be based on a 10-day volume-weighted average price from 25 May to 7 June.

There is no DRP discount rate and the last election date for shareholders to opt-in is 23 May.

Under the company’s capital management framework, there is typically a 60% to 75% targeted dividend payout ratio.

The latest dividend represents a dividend payout ratio of 69% for the first half.

Westpac share price snapshot

Over the past year, Westpac shares have lost around 7%. The ASX 200 index is up almost 2% over the same timeframe.

However, the Westpac share price is up around 8% this year to date. It reached a 52-week low of $20.00 in late January, before sharply rebounding in the following weeks.

Based on today’s price, Westpac commands a market capitalisation of roughly $86.57 billion and has a trailing dividend yield of 4.8%.

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. 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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