S&P Dow Jones Indices Reports $10.6 Billion Increase in U.S. Dividend Payments for Q4 2019 and $45.4 billion for 2019

  • Q4 2019 U.S. net common dividends increased $10.6 billion, up from a $7.4 billion increase in Q4 2018.
  • Total S&P 500 quarterly dividend payments increased 5.5% over Q4 2018, to a record $126.4 billion, from Q4 2018’s $119.8 billion.
  • Average Q4 2019 dividend increase in the S&P 500 was 10.01%, down from 10.24% during Q4 2018 and a tick above the 10.00% in Q3 2019.

NEW YORK, January 7, 2020: 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. 

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