Tupperware Sinks After Citing China Concerns, Slashing Dividend

(Bloomberg) -- Tupperware Brands Corp. plummeted the most in more than two decades after cutting its dividend and echoing other consumer companies’ concerns over an emerging spending slowdown in China.

Shares of the Orlando, Florida-based company sunk as much as 28 percent Wednesday to $27.52, the biggest intraday decline since the company went public in 1996. The decline follows the company’s announcement it would slash its dividend to 27 cents from 68 cents, a move that will help it fund a return to sales growth and potentially repurchase shares.

One of its focuses will be streamlining the company in problematic regions like Continental Europe and developing new products and experiences for consumers, especially in key emerging markets like China.

Even though the company saw double digit growth in China last year, “this is one of the places that negative macroeconomic issues showed through. Like many others, we are seeing increasingly problematic consumer spending trends in China as their economy slows down,” Chief Executive Officer Patricia Stitzel said on a call with analysts.

Tupperware Sinks After Citing China Concerns, Slashing Dividend

The accelerated transformation plan comes after a difficult fourth quarter for the company. Net sales were down 7 percent when excluding currency swings, with particular weakness in Indonesia and India.

The company expects total transformation investments of $100 million through 2022. It recently named former controller Nick Poucher to the new role of senior vice president of business transformation.

Tupperware Sinks After Citing China Concerns, Slashing Dividend

“Nick, myself, and our fresh and invigorated senior team are deeply focused on accelerating the pace of change at Tupperware, improving our performance and executing on our strategy to deliver long-term value,” Stitzel said. “To that end, we are entering a new year with new initiatives aimed at structural change.”

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