S&P Dow Jones Indices Reports U.S. Indicated Dividend Payments Increased $18.0 Billion in Q4 2021and a Record $69.8 Billion in 2021

  • Q4 2021 U.S. common dividend increases were $20.6 billion, down 7.5% from $22.2 billion in Q3 2021 and up 48.5% from $13.9 billion in Q4 2020.
  • Q4 2021 U.S. common dividend decreases were $2.6 billion, up 104% from $1.3 billion in Q3 2021, and down 39.6% from $4.3 billion in Q4 2020.
  • Net indicated dividend rate change increased $18.0 billion, compared to $20.9 billion in Q3 2021, and $9.5 billion in Q4 2020.
  • The median Q4 2021 dividend increase in the S&P 500 was 8.46%, down from 9.68% in Q3 2021, and 6.56% in Q4 2020.
  • 2021 U.S. common dividend increases were $78.6 billion, up 89.7% from 2020's $41.4 billion, as decreases fell 89.3% to $8.8 billion in 2021 from the massive $82.2 billion in 2020.
  • The net 2021 indicated dividend gain for 2021 was $69.8 billion, compared to 2020's decline of $40.8 billion.

NEW YORK, January 4, 2022: S&P Dow Jones Indices announced today that indicated dividend net changes (increases less decreases) for U.S. domestic common stocks increased $18.0 billion during Q4 2021, compared to $20.9 billion in Q3 2021, and $9.5 billion in Q4 2020.

For 2021, the net dividend rate increased $69.8 billion, compared to a net decline of $40.8 billion for 2020, as increases were $78.6 billion versus $41.4 billion, and decreases were $8.8 billion compared to $82.2 billion for 2020.

"Dividends continued to move past the COVID recovery, as increases were strong, decreases remain historically low, and earnings, sales, and high margins have permitted companies to return to the business of returning shareholder wealth," said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

"Within the S&P 500, companies still appear cautious of increases, as they paid out the lowest percentage of quarterly earnings in over a decade, but still set a dividend payment record in Q4 and 2021. While COVID continues to dominate the headlines, the market continues to post significant gains, which has reduced yields. Based on the historical dividend increase rate  and current indicated dividend rates, 2022 is on track to set another record in 2022, with COVID determining the increase amount."

Silverblatt concluded, "Another potential headwind is changes to the  dividend treatment or tax rate, which is now being discussed in Washington."

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