CHICAGO -- Gypsum building materials manufacturer USG Corp. said its board has moved to eliminate the company's quarterly dividend of 25 cents, citing a need to conserve cash for asbestos litigation costs.

One of the company’s units, United States Gypsum Co., has experienced "significantly" higher asbestos costs and settlement demands as a result of bankruptcies from other defendants in asbestos litigation.

USG said it will save about $4 million a year without the dividend payout. The company’s last dividend was paid March 21 to stockholders of record on Feb. 23.

The company added that prices for gypsum wallboard have continued to decline with average prices falling to about $80 per thousand square feet, which further reduces profits and cash from operations.