This excerpt taken from the ALD 10-K filed Mar 16, 2005.
Cash Flow From Operating Activities
Our portfolio has historically generated significant cash flow from which we pay dividends to shareholders and fund new investment activity. Cash generated from the portfolio includes cash flow from net investment income and net realized gains and principal collections related to investment repayments or sales. Cash flow provided by our
operating activities before new investment activity for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, was as follows:
Because of the significant amount of cash provided by operating activities before new investments, we generate sufficient cash flow to fund our operating activities as well as pay dividends to shareholders.
Dividends to common shareholders for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, were $299.3 million, $267.8 million, and $229.9 million, respectively. Total regular quarterly dividends were $2.28, $2.28, and $2.20 per common share for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003, and 2002, respectively. An extra cash dividend of $0.02 and $0.03 per common share was declared during 2004 and 2002, respectively, and was paid to shareholders on January 28, 2005, and January 9, 2003, respectively.
Dividends are generally determined based upon an estimate of annual taxable income, which includes our taxable interest, dividend and fee income, as well as taxable net capital gains. As discussed above, taxable income generally differs from net income for financial reporting purposes due to temporary and permanent differences in the recognition of income and expenses, and generally excludes net unrealized appreciation or depreciation, as gains or losses are not included in taxable income until they are realized. Taxable income includes non-cash income, such as changes in accrued and reinvested interest and dividends and the amortization of discounts and fees. Cash collections of income resulting from contractual payment-in-kind interest or the amortization of discounts and fees generally occur upon the repayment of the loans or debt securities that include such items. Non-cash taxable income is reduced by non-cash expenses, such as realized losses and depreciation and amortization expense.
Our Board of Directors evaluates whether to retain or distribute taxable net capital gains on an annual basis. Our dividend policy allows us to continue to distribute capital gains, but would also allow us to retain gains to support future growth. Our Board of Directors reviews the dividend rate quarterly, and may adjust the quarterly dividend throughout the year.
At December 31, 2004, we had outstanding commitments to fund investments totaling $330.2 million. We intend to fund these commitments and prospective investment opportunities with existing cash, through cash flow from operations before new investments, through borrowings under our line of credit or other long-term debt agreements, or through the sale or issuance of new equity capital.