NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices today announced that indicated dividend net increases (increases less decreases) for U.S. domestic common stocks were $10.6 billion during Q4 2019, up 44.2% from Q4 2018's $7.4 billion increase.
For Q4 2019, aggregate increases amounted to $11.97 billion, up 1.0%, from Q4 2018's $11.85 billion. Aggregate dividend cuts, however, decreased 69.9% to $1.35 billion from $4.48 billion for Q4 2018, a period which included the $3.82 billion General Electric dividend cut.
For the year ending 2019, net dividends rose $45.4 billion, compared to a gain of $58.4 billion for 2018, as increases were $56.6 billion versus $66.5 billion, and decreases were $11.1 billion compared to $8.1 billion for the prior period.
"U.S. dividends continued upward in Q4 2019 even as the rate of growth slowed from the prior year when companies cited their tax savings in their statements," said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "2019 dividend payments in the S&P 500 posted their eighth consecutive year of record payments. At this point, the index already has a 3.3% dividend increase built into 2020, which is more than the recent employment 3.1% wage rate increase and before any of the more than 350 expected dividend increases for 2020. Looking at the full year 2020, absent a major event or Washington policy change, dividends could return to their double-digit growth rate, rewarding income-seekers in an otherwise lackluster income environment," Silverblatt concluded.
On a per share basis, S&P 500 Q4 2019 dividend payments for the S&P 500 increased 7.19% to a record-setting $15.21, from the Q4 2018's $14.19. On an aggregate basis, index components paid $126.4 billion in dividends this quarter, also a record, up from $119.8 billion in Q4 2018. For the year, the index paid a record $56.24 per share, setting its eighth consecutive record year, up from 2018's $53.75, with an aggregate $485.4 billion to shareholders, compared to 2018's $456.3 billion.
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):
- 686 dividend increases were reported during Q4 2019, compared to 787 during Q4 2018, a 12.8% year-over-year decline.
- Total dividend increases were $11.97 billion for the period, up from $11.85 billion for Q4 2018.
- For the 12-month period, 2,381 issues increased their payments, compared to 2,768 issues for the prior period, a 14.0% decrease.
- Total dividend increases were $56.59 billion for the 12-month period, down from $66.49 billion for the prior period.
Dividend Decreases (defined as either a decrease or suspension in dividend payments):
- 74 issues decreased dividends during Q4 2019, compared to 77 during Q4 2018, a 3.0% year-over-year decrease.
- Dividend decreases were $1.35 billion for the period, down from $4.48 billion for Q4 2018.
- For the 12-month period, 338 issues decreased their dividend payments, compared to 403 decreases during the prior period, a 24.0% year-over-year decrease.
- Dividend decreases were $11.14 billion for the 12-month period, up from $8.11 billion for the prior period.
Non-S&P 500 domestic common issues:
- The percentage of non-S&P 500 domestic dividend-paying common issues decreased to 28.0% in Q4 2019 from 28.6% in Q3 2019.
- The weighted dividend yield for paying issues was 3.30%, down from 3.36% for Q3 2019. The average yield decreased to 2.98%, down from 3.06% for Q3 2019.
Large-, Mid-, and Small-Cap Dividends:
- 423 issues, or 83.8%, within the S&P 500 currently pay a dividend, the same as Q3 2019. All 30 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average® pay a dividend.
- 68.9% of S&P MidCap 400® issues now pay a dividend, up from 68.8% for Q3 2019; 52.9% of S&P SmallCap 600® issues pay a dividend, up from 52.4% in Q3 2019.
- Yields across market-cap sizes decreased from Q3 2019. Large-cap yields decreased to 1.86% (1.98% for Q3 2019), mid-caps to 1.68% (1.72% for Q3 2019), and small-caps to 1.56% (1.58% for Q3 2019).
- The yields across dividend-paying market-size classifications were closer, but varied, with large-caps down to 2.28% (2.41 for Q3 2019), mid-caps at 2.38% (2.41% for Q3 2019) and small-caps at 2.64% (2.69% for Q3 2019).
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SOURCE S&P Dow Jones Indices