Dividends: What is a dividend, how are dividends calculated, and what types of dividends are there?


Generally, dividends are regarded as rewards that publicly traded companies extend to their shareholders, and they are derived from net profits.

In addition, rewards can be provided in the form of cash, cash equivalents, or shares. These expenses are mostly covered by remaining profits after essential expenses have been met. Dividend rates are determined by a company’s board of directors and majority shareholders are also considered.

Some companies choose to keep their accumulated profits to reinvest in their business or to reserve them for the future. As a result, dividend income announcements usually coincide with a significant increase or decrease in the share price of the company.

Dividend types

Different forms of dividends are paid by companies to their shareholders. Similarly, a dividend is made up of two main types, depending on how often it is declared –

Exceptional dividends:

Shareholders of common stock receive this type of dividend. A company will typically issue a dividend in a particular circumstance when they have accumulated substantial profits over a period of time. Profits of this type are mostly viewed as excess cash that does not need to be used at the given moment or in the near future.

Dividend preference:

Preferred stock owners receive such dividends from time to time, which usually accrue a fixed amount each quarter. Dividends that are paid on shares of companies that function more like bonds are a part of this kind of dividend.

In addition to these, the list below highlights the most common types of dividends.


The most common method of dividend payment is cash dividends. A check or an electronic transfer is usually the method used for such an income.


Stocks, investments, and real estate are some forms of dividends that companies can pay to their shareholders. It is still quite rare for companies to offer assets as dividends.


By issuing new shares, a company offers dividends in the form of stock. In general, stock dividends are offered on a pro-rata basis, which means that each shareholder receives dividends based on the number of shares they own.

Stocks commonly Traded-

This is usually the profit that is distributed to the shareholders of a company as its share of the accumulated profits. In many cases, what share of this dividend a company receives is determined by law, especially when the dividend is paid in cash and may lead to the company’s liquidation.

Apart from these assets, companies may decide to offer shares of a new company, warrants, and other financial assets as dividends. The dividend income of a company has a tendency, however, to affect its share price accordingly.

Dividends and Share Prices: How do they affect each other?

Paying dividends to shareholders has no significant impact on the overall value of a company. A dividend will tend to lower the overall equity value of the venture by the same amount that is being paid as a dividend. Detailed below, dividends are debited from the company’s books permanently once they are paid out, a move that cannot be reversed.

A company’s share price rises significantly whenever it declares a dividend based on market activities. Premiums are generally paid by investors who hope to earn dividends. Upon expiration of dividend eligibility, shares start to decline by a similar amount. An investor who is not considered eligible for dividends and therefore reluctant to pay the premium usually falls into this category.

Likewise, if the market is expected to remain optimistic until an ex-dividend date, then a stock’s value increase could exceed the dividend paid. Even when losses are reduced, such an event often leads to an increase in the value of a company’s stock in the long run.

Even so, individuals should become familiar with the important dividend dates so they can understand the impact of dividend declaration on stock prices.

Below is a table highlighting important dividend dates. Below is a table highlighting important dividend dates-

Dates for announcementsAn announcement of the dividend is made by the board on this date.
Expiration of dividendsDividend eligibility expires at the end of this month.
Date of recordAs a rule, shareholders’ eligibility income is scrutinized at the cut-off date.
Paying date                          Investors’ accounts are credited with their dividends on this date.

Dividend Income Calculation: How Does it Work?

Dividends are calculated by dividing the annual dividend per share by earnings per share, which is equal to the dividend payout ratio. The dividend payout ratio is given by –

Rate of dividend payout = Dividends paid / Net income reported

It is noteworthy that companies that do not offer dividends to their shareholders have a dividend payout ratio of zero. The dividend payout ratio is 0 for companies that distribute their entire net income to shareholders as dividends.

Divide dividends paid per share by earnings per share and you can calculate the retention ratio. The same can be expressed as –

The retention ratio equals Dividend per Share/Earnings per Share

Dividend payout ratios make it easy for investors to quickly determine how much money a company offers to its shareholders. Moreover, the ratio can be useful in calculating the amount reinvested in expanding and improving a company’s operations, paying off existing debt, or accumulating cash reserves.

A company’s sustainability can also be assessed by using it. As an example, a company with a payout ratio of more than 100% means it will pay out more than what shareholders are going to receive. An organization might eventually be forced to reduce its offering or cease offering it altogether if it follows such a policy. Dividend payout ratios indicate the financial strength of a company on the other hand.

The Dividend Process: How Does it Work?

In order to understand dividends, we will elaborate on the following steps –

Step 1 Companies listed on public exchanges generate substantial income and accumulate substantial retained earnings.

Step 2 Management of the company makes a call regarding the reinvestment or distribution of retained earnings.

Step 3 A company’s board of directors declares dividends on its shares after obtaining the support of major shareholders.

Step 4 Announcements regarding dividend declarations are made.

Step 5 Dividend eligibility is assessed for each shareholder.

Step 6 Shareholders receive the dividend.

Alternatively, business owners may decide to reinvest the excess earnings to expand their operations or be more productive.

As a result, the retention and repayment of dividends can both have a strong impact on the business’s financial model.  

Income StatementEffects
Flow of fundsThis reduces aggregate cash and retained earnings.
Flow of CashCash use is reported under the financing activity section.
Report of Retained Earnings  Retained earnings are reported as a decrease here.
Amount of IncomeThere is no effect.

Distribution of dividends:

A dividend stock consists of a public company that pays dividends to its shareholders on a regular basis. These companies tend to be well-established and have a good track record of allocating earnings to shareholders.

Choosing a dividend stock that pays a profit –

1). At least 50% of the company’s stock should be distributed as dividends.

2). An average dividend yield of between 3% and 6% is recommended for dividends.

3). When it comes to dividends and debt repayment, the company should be able to offer a reasonable track record.

In addition to these pointers, it will be easy to gauge a company’s profitability and financial standing by examining other financial parameters.

Distribution ratio vs dividend yield:

In general, a dividend payout ratio indicates what percentage of a company’s net earnings are paid out as dividends. A dividend yield provides an insight into a company’s rate of returns to shareholders in the form of dividend payments.

Even so, dividend payout is regarded to be a better indicator of a company’s ability to distribute dividends among its shareholders in a sustainable manner. A business venture’s cash flow is also related to its dividends paid in a given year, as well as its cash flow. The rate of dividend yield significantly declines even with the smallest increase in share prices.

This formula is used to calculate dividend yield.

Share Yield = Annual dividend per share / Share Dividends

Last but not least, it is important for prospective investors to familiarize themselves with dividends before investing in stocks that pay high dividends. 

To determine the possibility of making money by investing in such stocks, they should examine the various factors and associated financial parameters. Prior to making an investment, make sure to check the dividend stock list.

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