S&P Dow Jones Indices Reports U.S. Dividend Activity for Q4 2017 and Full-Year 2017
- Q4 2017 indicated payments increased by $4.5 billion
- Dividend decreases fall significantly
- Regular cash payments of $419.8 billon sets full-year record

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices today announced that the indicated dividend net increases (increases less decreases) for U.S. domestic common stocks increased $4.5 billion during Q4 2017, down from $15.0 billion for Q3 2017 and $8.9 billion for Q4 2016.

General Electric's (GE) $4.2 billion reduction from November 2017 affected the quarter's overall dividend activity. Q3 2017 saw large-cap financial institutions increase payments after regulatory approval, which accounted for more than 45% of Q3 2017's increase.

For Q4 2017, aggregate increases amounted to $12.4 billion, up from $11.3 billion for Q4 2016. Dividend decreases surged to $7.9 billion, up from $2.3 billion for Q4 2016.

For full-year 2017, net dividend increases rose 56.9% to $37.1 billion, compared to a $23.6 billion increase for full-year 2016. Total dividend increases were $49.6 billion, up from $43.9 billion; dividend decreases were $12.5 billion, down from $20.2 billion for full-year 2016.

"Q4 2017 dividend payments for the S&P 500 were a record $109.5 billion," said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst, S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Full-year 2017 saw a record $419.8 billion returned to shareholders via regular cash payments, climbing up from $397.2 billion for 2016. It was the eighth consecutive year of higher payments and the sixth consecutive year of record payments."

Additional findings from S&P Dow Jones Indices' quarterly analysis of the dividend activity of U.S. traded issues include:

Dividend Increases (defined as an increase in dividend payments):

  • 801 dividend increases were reported for Q4 2017, compared to 784 increases for Q4 2016, a 2.2% year-over-year increase.
  • For 2017, 2,642 issues increased their payments, compared to 2,634 issues for 2016, a 0.3% year-over-year increase.

Dividend Decreases (defined as either a decrease or suspension in dividend payments):

  • 114 issues decreased dividends during Q4 2017, compared to 134 during Q4 2016, a 14.9% year-over-year decrease.
  • For 2017, 445 issues decreased their dividend payments, compared to 659 decreases during 2016, a 32.5% decrease.

Non-S&P 500® domestic common issues paying a dividend:

  • The percentage of non-S&P 500 domestic common issues paying a dividend declined to 55.2%, down from 55.3% for Q3 2017 and up from 54.7% for Q4 2016.
  • The weighted dividend yield for paying issues was 2.36%, down from 2.48% for Q3 2017 and 2.59% for Q4 2016.

Large-, Mid-, and Small-Cap Dividends:

417 issues, or 82.6%, within the S&P 500® currently pay a dividend, unchanged from Q3 2017. All 30 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average® pay a dividend.

Silverblatt found that 70.0% of S&P MidCap 400® issues pay a cash dividend, up from 69.3% for Q3 2017; 51.1% of S&P SmallCap 600® issues pay a dividend, down from 51.6% for Q3 2017. 

Yields continued to vary, with large-caps at 1.87% (1.97% for Q3 2017), mid-caps at 1.49% (1.54% for Q3 2017) and small-caps at 1.23% (flat from Q3 2017).

The yields across dividend-paying market-size classifications remain competitive, with large-caps at 2.24% (2.37% for Q3 2017), mid-caps at 2.06% (2.15% for Q3 2017) and small-caps at 2.25% (2.12% for Q2 2017). 


Silverblatt calculated that within the S&P 500, the average dividend increase during Q4 2017 was 10.4%, down from 14.4% during Q3 2017 and 11.7% during Q4 2016. The median increase was 8.2%, down from 9.8% during Q3 2017 and 9.1% during Q4 2016.

For all of 2017, Silverblatt notes that the median increase rose to 8.7%, up from 8.2% for 2016; the rise breaks a five-year trend of declining increases. 


"Using the current declared dividend rates for the S&P 500, 2018 has a 2.3% increase of dividend payments before any announced increases," said Silverblatt. "328 issues increased their dividends 356 times for 2017 and conditions are favorable for 2018 to be a record year for dividends."

For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit www.spdji.com.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has become home to over 1,000,000 indices across the spectrum of asset classes that have helped define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies, and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit www.spdji.com.


Luke Shane, US Communications
(+1) 212 438 8184 luke.shane@spglobal.com 


Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst
(+1) 212 438 3916 howard.silverblatt@spglobal.com

SOURCE S&P Dow Jones Indices