Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) announced today that it is upping its quarterly dividend to 16 cents per share, representing an increase of 6.66% from the previous rate of 15 cents. This dividend is payable on April 15, 2023 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2023.
The Las Vegas-based casino operator, whose properties include the Fremont Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas, is one of the few gaming firms to boost its dividend in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the onset of the pandemic, Boyd’s dividend was initially suspended, and the company was the first in the industry to reinstate its payout approximately one year ago.
In March 2020, the Aliante operator had previously suspended its dividend, which was then seven cents per share per quarter. Rival Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) has since followed suit and last week, Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ: MCRI) announced a one-time special dividend of $5 per share along with a new quarterly distribution of 30 cents. Meanwhile, the dividend situation on the Las Vegas Strip is not as positive, as MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) pays a mere penny per share annually and Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) are not dividend-paying entities.
In addition to its dividend, Boyd has also been returning capital to investors through share buybacks. Last year, the operator devoted $600 million to shareholder rewards, which included repurchasing $107 million of its own stock in the fourth quarter. The company has $239 million left on a previously announced buyback plan, and analysts believe Boyd has the ability to support the trifecta of shareholder yield — growing its payout, repurchasing stock, and reducing debt. Additionally, the company has the potential to tap into resources such as its 5% stake in FanDuel and a valuable portfolio of Las Vegas real estate, though it is not currently doing so.
Overall, Boyd’s dividend increase is a sign of optimism in the casino industry, which has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.