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I’ve had a number of readers email me to ask, “What happened to Seadrill’s (SDRL) fourth quarter 2012 dividend? That dividend would normally have been paid out in January and it wasn’t. Now that the stock is about to go ex-dividend for its first quarter dividend, let me straighten out the record for this stock that I own in both my Jubak’s Picks and Dividend Income portfolios. In 2012 Seadrill combined the payment of its third quarter 2012 and fourth quarter 2012 dividends into one payment of $1.70 a share distributed on December 21. Normally the fourth quarter dividend would have been paid out in January 2013, but like a number of other companies Seadrill accelerated its last dividend payment to escape potential changes in tax rates in 2013. That meant, of course, that there was no dividend payout in January. That had the effect of making some shareholders worry that company had omitted a dividend or that this high yielding stock was changing its dividend policy. I hope the first quarter dividend of 88 cents a share, an increase from the 85 cents a share paid out in the third and fourth quarters of 2012, puts those worries to rest. The record date on the first quarter dividend is June 7 and the shares will begin trading ex-dividend on June 5. The payout date to shareholders of record is on or about June 20, 2013, the company has announced. At the 2:30 p.m. (New York time) price of $41.10, the projected yield on Seadrill’s ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) comes to 8.6%. Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. When in 2010 I started the mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund , I liquidated all my individual stock holdings and put the money into the fund. The fund did own shares of Seadrill as of the end of March. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of March see the fund’s portfolio at