Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. said Thursday its board slashed its fourth-quarter dividend to a penny from 12 cents a share.
The new dividend is payable Dec. 17 to shareholders of record on Dec. 7.
The reduction will enable the bank holding company to retain an additional $7.3 million in common equity per year.
Daniel Schrider, the company's president and CEO, said the move "reflects our commitment to maintaining a strong balance sheet as we continue to work our way through the current economic cycle."
With the reduction, the company will put off considering any stock or debt sale "until we consider market conditions to be more advantageous," Schrider said.
Shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp fell 23 cents to $9.56 in afternoon trading.