Tuesday, April 07, 2009

First Quarter Not Kind To Dividends

Today Standard & Poor's reported first quarter dividend activity and it certainly was not favorable. Not only were a record number of companies slashing their dividends, other payers were not increasing dividends as well. Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at Standard & Poor’s notes:
"...since 1955, the average has been 15 increases for every decrease. Now its three increases for every four decreases.”
Following are some statistics on the first quarter dividend activity:
  • a record 367 of the approximately 7,000 publicly owned companies that report dividend information to Standard & Poor’s Dividend Record decreased their dividend payment. This represents a 332% increase from the 83 issues that decreased their dividend during the first quarter of 2008.
  • a record low 283 issues announced they will increase their dividend payment – a 52.7% drop from the 598 issues that reported dividend increases during the first quarter of 2008.

S&P: Q1 Worst Quarter for Dividends Since 1955;
Companies Reduce Shareholder Payments by $77 Billion

Standard & Poor's
By: Howard Silverblatt & David R. Guarino
April 7, 2009

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