Shares of United Online Inc. fell 12 percent after the company announced it will stop making cash dividend payments to shareholders so it can invest the money in long-term growth.

The Woodland Hills Internet service provider and website publisher has a strong balance sheet and will use existing cash and free cash flow to support its growth, said Chief Executive Francis Lobo in a statement released Friday after markets closed.

Among the growth plans are optimizing current product offerings, expanding new product development, and pursuing strategic partnerships to expand the company’s scope and reach, Lobo said.

United Online paid a dividend of 15 cents a share in November that returned $2.2 million to shareholders.

Shares of United Online closed down $1.49, or 12.3 percent, to $10.62 on the Nasdaq exchange.