S&P Dow Jones Indices Reports U.S. Indicated Dividend Payments Increased $9.5 Billion in Q4 2020, a reversal from Q3’s $2.3 billion decline

  • Q4 2020 U.S. common dividend increases were $13.9 billion, up from $8.4 billion in Q3 2020, $6.7 billion in Q2 2020, and $12.0 billion in Q4 2019.
  • Q4 2020 U.S. common dividends decreases were $4.3 billion, down from $10.8 billion in Q3 2020, $49.2 billion in Q2 2020 and up from $1.3 billion in Q4 2019.
  • Net indicated dividend rate change increased $9.5 billion, compared to -$2.3 billion in Q3 2020, Q2 2020’s $42.5 billion decline and Q4 2019’s $10.6 billion increase.
  • The median Q4 2020 dividend increase in the S&P 500 was 6.56%, up from Q3 2020’s 4.17, 4.84% in Q2 2020 and down from the 9.09% in Q4 2019.

NEW YORK, January 6, 2021: S&P Dow Jones Indices announced today that indicated dividend net changes (increases less decreases) for U.S. domestic common stocks increased $9.5 billion during Q4 2020, compared to a decline of $2.3 billion in Q3 2020, and a gain of $10.6 billion in Q4 2019.

For Q4 2020, aggregate increases amounted to $13.9 billion, up 64.2% from the $8.4 billion increase of Q3 2020 and up 15.7%, from Q4 2019’s $12.0 billion. Aggregate dividend cuts decreased 59.8% to $4.3 billion from Q3 2020’s $10.8 billion in cuts, and was up 221% from the $1.3 billion in cuts for Q4 2019.

For 2020, the net dividend rate fell $40.5 billion, compared to a gain of $45.4 billion for 2019, as increases were $41.4 billion versus $56.6 billion, and decreases were $82.2 billion compared to $11.1 billion for 2019.

“Many companies have stabilized their operations and sales and are returning cash flow to the dividend market,” said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indice. Silverblatt continued,“some issues which had suspended their payments after the start of COVID, have resumed payments. The $13.9 billion in Q4 increases represented a 15.7% increase over the pre-COVID Q4 2019 period. For the year, the $82.2 billion in cuts and suspensions took their toll but now appear to have mostly abated as increases of $41.4 billion helped limit the damage. Looking ahead to 2021, absent a failure on the COVID treatment side, dividends should be impressive with the S&P 500 expected to post a new record payment.”

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