The average performance of dividend paying stocks in the S&P 500 Index ($INX) underperformed the non payers in February, 4.15% versus 4.74%, respectively. On a year to date basis, however, the payers are outperforming the non payers, 1.57% versus -.24%.
With respect to dividend actions, February was a much improved environment compared to February of 2009. February tends to be the busiest month for dividend news and the S&P 500 index companies saw 45 increases versus just 30 in the same period last year. Additionally, there were no dividend decreases in February versus 18 decreases in February 2009. For the three month period ending in February, there were 79 positive announcements and just two reductions versus 58 positive announcements and 41 reductions for the same period in 2009.
Source: Standard & Poor's