Last week Duke Energy (DUK) spun-off to Duke shareholders, the midstream natural gas operations into a new company, Spectra Eneregy (SE). Duke shareholders received 1/2 share of Spectra for each share of Duke.
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On January 5th, Duke announced its upcoming quarterly dividend of 21 cents per share. This is down 11 cents from the prior quarterly dividend of 32 cents; however, on the same day, Spectra announced it would pay a dividend of 22 cents per share. Since Duke shareholders received 1/2 share of SE for each share of DUK, the Duke equivalent dividend on the SE shares is 11 cents (that is, one half of the 22 cent SE quarterly dividend).
In total then, DUK shareholders end up receiving the same dollar dividend as they would have received on the DUK shares held before the spin-off.