Two excellent and relevant points were however made in the shareholder activist press releases:
1. If accretive acquisitions are the name of the game, then it is more beneficial to repurchase shares at such a low valuation. Especially with the future dividend, less shares on the market means less cash flow going out.
2. Trying to run a company without leveraging your position is going to produce very limited growth.
Lastly on another note if commodity prices are indeed going to remain somewhat flat or decrease, and share prices as a result are going to be stagnant as well, then paying an enhanced dividend greater than 6% is the correct model to pursue and not any form of non-share accretive acquisitions. The entire purpose of a corporation is to provide return for its shareholders. When the price is being suppressed by (let's assume) market factors and (assuming) flat/declining future commodity prices, yet the corporation is still producing positive EPS and cash flows, there is no return being generated for the shareholders, while management enjoys surplus salaries and bonuses. In that situation, wouldn't the shareholder want deserve some of that money since it is their company? There is no point to hold a flat share price over a longer period of time. I would rather the company liquidate and pay me out at ~$6.0 share.
At 6%, this dividend is barely going to cover losses on shares bought around the announcement of the dividend and review conclusion.