Sealaska will show another year of record net income for 2019. In December we told shareholders that we estimate 2019 net income to be nearly $77.6 million based on management’s expectations, estimates and projections and feel we will be very close to that estimate as we close our annual financial audit over the next few weeks. Please note, Sealaska’s 2019 audited financials will be published in May 2020.
While we are not yet at the end of our first quarter of 2020, we do know that the current COVID-19 induced crisis will have an effect on Sealaska’s full year 2020 financial results (see income notes below). We also know that Sealaska is financially strong with significant cash positions that will allow us to weather the crisis, while also being able to help with critical needs that arise within our communities.
It is the growth and success of our businesses that have left us in this fortunate position to take action to help our shareholders and communities. One of the first actions we have taken was to move our spring dividend up by 17 days, which allowed us to get $23.7 million to shareholders at a time of need. We have also worked closely with policy makers at the state and federal level to advocate for aid to the most negatively affected by this crisis.
Business Income: We are working diligently to limit the effect of this crisis on our businesses, while keeping our employees and communities safe. None of our businesses have shutdown, or plan to, as we operate within many essential areas, but there are too many unknowns right now to make a full year prediction of our business income.
Investment Income: Our investment income is currently negative, caused by significant investment market declines. Our portfolios are designed to be able to withstand market crashes and we believe they will be able to recover, like they did during and after the 2008 financial crisis.
ANCSA Section 7(i): Commodity prices that drive our 7(i) income have fallen because of the estimated decline in economic activity. We believe we will see less 7(i) income in 2020, although 7(i) will still be an important source of positive income.
Even though 2020 full year results are too difficult to forecast right now, Sealaska has diversified income sources and the largest business platform in its history to help us through this crisis. Please stay safe and follow all of the government mandates and guidelines so we can keep our communities safe.