Bloomberg reports the French and Italian governments, which collectively own 27.5% of STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), want the chipmaker to cut its dividend to give it more flexibility to up its R&D spend.
STMicro currently sports a 5.1% yield, well above that of most dividend-paying chip stocks. Meanwhile, the company is expected by the Street to see revenue drop 4.5% in 2015. Sales have been pressured by the ST-Ericsson JV wind-down, weak PC sales, set-top IC competition from Broadcom, and microcontroller competition from a variety of rivals.
Shares have fallen towards $7.50. In addition to Bloomberg's report, a weak Q3 report from fellow European chipmaker Dialog Semi could be weighing. STMicro's Q3 results arrive on Thursday morning.