A dividend is a portion of a company's profit paid to common and preferred shareholders. A stock selling for $20 a share with an annual dividend of $1 a share yields the investor 5%. The New York Times Financial Glossary

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dividend div‧i‧dend [ˈdɪvdənd, -dend] written abbreviation d noun [countable]
1. FINANCE a part of the profits of a company for a particular period of time that is paid to shareholders for each share that they own:

• The group raised its regular dividend on common shares 19% to 25 cents.

• Consolidated Press forecasts a dividend of 29.8 cents a share.

acˌcumulated ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend on preferreds which is not paid out in each financial year, but allowed to build up:

• The redemption price is $100,000 a share, plus accumulated dividends of $926.92 a share.

ˌannual ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid on each share held in a company for one financial year, or the total amount that the company pays out in dividends in that year:

• Fuji intends to cut the annual dividend to six yen a share, including a 0.5 yen special payout already paid.

ˈbonus ˌdividend FINANCE
an extra dividend paid in addition to a normal dividend:

• The airline is proposing a bonus dividend of 7.5 cents a share to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

ˈcash ˌdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid in cash, rather than in the form of new shares:

• The board have offered shareholders the option of receiving new shares in place of cash dividends.

ˌcumulative ˈdividend FINANCE
interest paid on preference share S which, if not paid out, will be added to the value of these shares:

• The group have agreed to issue preferred stock with an 8% cumulative dividend.

extraˌordinary ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid for a particular reason, and not paid in every period of time:

• Shareholders will receive 24.8 rand a share. In addition, an extraordinary dividend totaling 11.0 rand a share will be paid out of the company's reserves.

ˌfinal ˈdividend FINANCE
the last dividend payment relating to a company's financial year:

• The supermarket chain will pay a final dividend of 0.85 pence, making for a full-year dividend of 2.10 pence a share.

ˌgross ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend before tax is taken off:

• If the total of gross dividends and other distributions exceeded $400, report it on Schedule B of your tax return.

ˌinterim ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid during a company's financial year, usually every three or six months
ˌordinary ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend that does not depend on particular conditions:

• The publishing group raised its ordinary dividend to 63 cents a share for the year from 60 cents.

ˌpreference ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid on preference share S (= shares on which dividends must be paid before dividends on ordinary shares are paid)
ˌquarterly ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend relating to a three-month period of a company's financial year
ˈshare ˌdividend especially BrE FINANCE
a dividend paid to shareholders in the form of new shares in the company rather than cash; = STOCK DIVIDEND AmE:

• The corporation declared a 25% share dividend, in the form of one new share for each four common shares owned.

— compare bonus issue
ˌspecial ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend paid in addition to the normal dividend, perhaps in a period of especially high profits:

• ICN said it declared the special dividend to recognize the continued growth and strong performance of the company.

ˈstock ˌdividend , ˈscrip ˌdividend especially BrE FINANCE
a dividend that is paid to shareholders in the form of new shares rather than cash; = share dividend Bre:

• CSM said shareholders will have the option of either a cash dividend or a stock dividend.

— compare bonus issue
ˌunpaid ˈdividend FINANCE
a dividend that has been announced by a company but has not yet been paid:

• Unpaid dividends are recognized as liabilities until paid.

2. FINANCE a fixed rate of interest that is paid on certain types of company stock:

• If Ford common stock remains depressed, they will still collect an 8.4% dividend on the preferred stock.

3. INSURANCE a part of the profits of a life insurance company paid out to those who have insurance agreements with the company:

• Holders of some types of policies, such as whole life, may see increases in their dividends.

4. FINANCE omit/​pass/​suspend a dividend to decide not to pay a dividend, usually because of bad financial results:

• Poor profitability forced the Japanese airline to pass its dividend for the sixth year running.

• The board voted to omit the dividend.

— see also ex dividend ex1

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   The part of a company's after-tax earnings that is distributed to the shareholders. The board of directors of the company recommends how much dividend should be paid out at its annual meeting and it is voted through by the shareholders. The dividend is neither automatic nor guaranteed for ordinary shareholders. The dividend can be in the form of cash or shares.

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dividend UK US /ˈdɪvɪdend/ noun [C or U]
FINANCE part of the profit of a company that is paid to shareholders: share/stock dividend »

You may have investment income that is paid yearly, such as share dividends.


an annual/a quarterly dividend


a gross/net dividend

announce/declare/propose a dividend »

In connection with this sale, the Board proposed a special dividend of 25.0 pence per share.

pay/produce/yield a dividend »

Shares paying high dividends are known as 'income stocks'.

receive/expect a dividend »

We anticipate receiving a substantial dividend on our holding.

omit/pass/suspend a dividend »

The company announced that it would be suspending its quarterly dividend in order to reduce debt.


This is an official document showing the amount of dividend that has been earned both before and after official deductions have been made (for example for tax).

See also ACCUMULATED DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑accumulated dividend), BONUS DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑bonus dividend), CASH DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑cash dividend), CUMULATIVE DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑cumulative dividend), EX-DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑ex-dividend), EXTRAORDINARY DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑extraordinary dividend), FINAL DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑final dividend), INTERIM DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑interim dividend), ORDINARY DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑ordinary dividend), PREFERENCE DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑preference dividend), SCRIP DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑scrip dividend), SPECIAL DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑special dividend), UNPAID DIVIDEND(Cf. ↑unpaid dividend)
INSURANCE a part of the profits of a life insurance company that is paid to people who have insurance with the company: »

Policy dividends allow policyholders to participate in the financial performance of the life insurance operation.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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