Motley Fool  1 hr ago  Comment 
Quality dividend stocks in the healthcare sector are a rarity. Find out if this company is worth investors' time or if should they consider looking elsewhere?
DailyFinance  3 hrs ago  Comment 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/20/14 -- EnerCare Inc. ("EnerCare") (TSX:ECI) today announced a cash dividend of $0.0604 per common share for the month of August 2014. The dividend will be payable on September 30, 2014 to shareholders of...
SeekingAlpha  8 hrs ago  Comment 
By Tom Lydon: By Todd Shriber & Tom Lydon With 10-year down a whopping 21.4% this year, a variety of rate-sensitive, income-generating asset classes and sectors have benefited. Master limited partnerships (MLPS), real estate investment trusts...
WA Business News  Aug 20  Comment 
Fortescue Metals Group has defended its strategy to pay off debt, announcing a 10 cents dividend following a 56 per cent jump in full year profit built on higher production.
DailyFinance  Aug 19  Comment 
WashingtonFirst Bankshares, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: WFBI), today announced that it has redeemed $4.4 million (4,449 shares), or 25% of the $17.8 million outstanding Series D Preferred Stock ("Series D Preferred...
SeekingAlpha  Aug 19  Comment 
By Tom Lydon: A recently launched active high-dividend exchange traded fund tries to generate outsized returns through focusing on so-called high-conviction stock picks from among the top fund managers while screening for attractive...
SeekingAlpha  Aug 19  Comment 
By Canadian Dividend Growth Investor: As a relatively new dividend growth investor of about 2 years, it was difficult to stick to it. One of the main goals, if not, the top goal of dividend growth investors is the growing income coming from these...
SeekingAlpha  Aug 18  Comment 
By Dividend Appreciator: Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is a company that comes high up on any list of stable dividend paying companies and currently offers investors a nice dividend yield of 4.3%. According to David Fish, the company has increased its...
DailyFinance  Aug 18  Comment 
EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) today announced that its Board of Trustees has declared its monthly cash dividend to common shareholders. The dividend of $0.285 per common share is payable September 15, 2014 to shareholders of...
guardian.co.uk  Aug 18  Comment 
Reports that supermarket's new boss should cut payout puts pressure on shares Markets are moving higher on hopes of an easing in geopolitical tensions, but closer to home, Tesco has come under renewed pressure. Shares in the supermarket are down...


Dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders. When a company earns a profit, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business (called retained earnings), or it can be paid to the shareholders of the company as a dividend. Paying dividends is not an expense; rather, it is the division of an asset among shareholders. Many companies retain a portion of their earnings and pay the remainder as a dividend. Publicly-traded companies usually pay dividends on a fixed schedule, but may declare a dividend at any time, sometimes called a special dividend to distinguish it from a regular one.


The profits of a company can either be reinvested in the business or paid to its shareholders as a dividend. The frequency of these varies by country. In the United States, dividends of publicly-traded companies are usually declared quarterly by the board of directors. In some other countries dividends are paid biannually, as an interim dividend shortly after the company announces its interim results and a final dividend typically following its annual general meeting. In other countries, the board of directors will propose the payment of a dividend to shareholders at the annual meeting who will then vote on the proposal.

In the United States, a decision regarding the amount and frequency of dividends is solely at the discretion of the board of directors). Shareholders are explicitly forbidden from introducing shareholder resolutions involving specific amounts of dividends (SEC Form 8-A [3])

Where a company makes a loss during a year, it may opt to continue paying dividends from the retained earnings from previous years or to suspend the dividend. Where a company receives a non-recurring gain, e.g. from the sale of some assets, and has no plans to reinvest the proceeds the money is often returned to shareholders in the form of a special dividend. This type of dividend is often larger than usual and occurs outside of the normal dividend distribution schedule.


Dividends must be "declared" (approved) by a company’s Board of Directors each time they are paid. There are four important dates to remember regarding dividends. These are discussed in detail with examples at the Securities and Exchange Commission site [1]

Declaration date

The declaration date is the day the Board of Directors announces its intention to pay a dividend. On this day, a liability is created and the company records that liability on its books; it now owes the money to the stockholders. On the declaration date, the Board will also announce a date of record and a payment date.

Ex-dividend date

The ex-dividend date is the day after which all shares bought and sold no longer come attached with the right to be paid the most recently declared dividend. This is an important date for any company that has many stockholders, including those that trade on exchanges, as it makes reconciliation of who is to be paid the dividend easier. Prior to this date, the stock is said to become dividend ('with dividend'): existing holders of the stock and anyone who buys it will receive the dividend, whereas any holders selling the stock lose their right to the dividend. On and after this date the stock becomes ex dividend: existing holders of the stock will receive the dividend even if they now sell the stock, whereas anyone who now buys the stock now will not receive the dividend.

It is relatively common for a stock's price to decrease on the ex-dividend date by an amount roughly equal to the dividend paid. This reflects the decrease in the company's assets resulting from the declaration of the dividend. The company does not take any explicit action to adjust its stock price; in an efficient market, buyers and sellers will automatically price this in.

Record date

Shareholders who properly registered their ownership on or before the date of record will receive the dividend. Shareholders who are not registered as of this date will not receive the dividend. Registration in most countries is essentially automatic for shares purchased before the ex-dividend date.

Payment date

The payment date is the day when the dividend cheques will actually be mailed to the shareholders of a company or credited to brokerage accounts.


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