During the Q1 2020 earnings calls, the Majors emphasized their commitment to protecting the health and safety of employees and customers through the COVID-19 pandemic.
They told investors that protecting the health of their balance sheets was also an immediate priority to weather the simultaneous demand and supply shocks.
Most companies had previously announced the suspension of share buybacks or the withdrawal of proposals for share buyback programmes. Two companies have since announced a reduction in dividend, but the majority confirmed their intention to pay dividends for the first quarter. Analysts asked questions about dividend sustainability and the future structure of dividend policy, especially given that the macro environment remains volatile. They also enquired if companies had temporarily relaxed their targets on the ceiling or range for net debt due to the pressure on finances.