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What Are 5 Types Of Dividends Companies Can Pay?

What are the 4 main types of dividend a company can pay

When it comes to investing in stocks, dividends are one of the most important factors that investors consider. Dividends are payments made by companies to their shareholders as a way to distribute profits. These payments are usually made in cash, but they can also be made in the form of additional shares of stock or other assets. In this article, we’ll explore the 5 main types of dividends that investors should be aware of when considering which stocks to invest in.

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Understanding Dividends

Before diving into the five main types of dividends, it is essential to understand what a dividend is. A dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders from its profits. It is a way for companies to share their earnings with their investors. Not all companies pay dividends, but those that do can distribute them on a monthly, annual, bi-annual, or quarterly basis.

Apart from ordinary dividends, companies may also pay special dividends, which are one-time payments made in addition to regular dividends. These special dividends are typically paid out when a company has excess cash from a profitable period or profits made from a disposal.

It is important to note that dividends are not fully guaranteed, as they depend on the financial health of the company. Dividends can be increased, decreased, or even cut completely based on a company’s financial situation. In addition, there are alternative ways for companies to reward investors, such as share buybacks and stock splits. However, in this article, we will only focus on the different types of dividends.

Understanding the different types of dividends

Dividend Yield

In addition to the types of dividends, it is also important to understand what dividend yield is. Dividend yield is the ratio of a company’s annual dividend per share to its current stock price. In simple terms, it is the percentage return a shareholder can expect to receive in the form of dividends based on the current market price of the company’s shares.

For instance, if a company pays an annual dividend of $2 per share and its current stock price is $50, the dividend yield would be 4% ($2/$50). Dividend yield is a crucial metric for investors looking to invest in dividend-paying companies, as it provides an estimate of the return they can expect from their investment.

However, it is important to note that dividend yield can fluctuate based on changes in the company’s stock price or dividend payouts. A high dividend yield may also indicate that the company is struggling and unable to grow its business, which could lead to a reduction in dividend payouts in the future.


In conclusion, dividend yield is a useful metric for investors to evaluate dividend-paying companies. It provides an estimate of the return they can expect from their investment based on the current stock price and dividend payouts. However, investors should also consider other factors such as the company’s financial health, growth potential, and dividend history before making investment decisions.

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Understanding types of dividends and dividend yield

Different Types Of Dividends

Cash Dividend

A cash dividend is the most common of all types of dividend. It is a cash payment made by a company to its shareholders from retained earnings. Cash dividends are usually paid out quarterly or annually. Cash dividends can provide a good source of regular income or they can easily be reinvested back into the stock to benefit from the compounding effect to build great wealth over time.

Example: Company XYZ declares a cash dividend of $0.50 per share. If you own 100 shares of Company XYZ, you will receive a cash payment of $50.

Stock Dividend

A stock dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders in the form of additional shares of stock. Stock dividends are usually issued in small amounts, and the number of shares distributed is proportional to the number of shares a shareholder already owns.

Example: Company ABC declares a stock dividend of 5%. If you own 100 shares of Company ABC, you will receive an additional 5 shares of stock.

Scrip Dividend

A scrip dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders in the form of a promissory note, which can be converted into shares of stock at a later date. Scrip dividends are often used by companies that want to conserve their cash and retain their earnings.

Example: Company DEF declares a scrip dividend of 2%. If you own 100 shares of Company DEF, you will receive a promissory note that entitles you to 2 additional shares of stock at a later date.

Property Dividend

A property dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders in the form of non-cash assets, such as real estate, equipment, or inventory. Property dividends are less common than other types of dividends and are usually given out by companies that have excess assets that they want to distribute to their shareholders.

Example: Company GHI declares a property dividend of 1%. If you own 100 shares of Company GHI, you will receive a portion of the company’s real estate holdings as a dividend.

Liquidating Dividend

A liquidating dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders when it is going out of business or liquidating its assets. Liquidating dividends are paid out to shareholders after all the company’s debts and liabilities have been paid off.

When a company enters liquidation, all of it’s assets are sold to repay all debts to creditors. There is an order of preference for payment with shareholders being last.

It is important to note that in many cases, there may not be enough assets left to pay all shareholders, especially common shareholders. In such a scenario, shareholders may only receive a portion of their investment back, or in some cases, they may receive nothing at all.

In conclusion, the order of preference for liquidating dividends is an important factor to consider for shareholders when investing in a company. It outlines the priority for the distribution of assets in the event of liquidation, and investors should be aware of their position in this order when making investment decisions.

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Cash dividends


Q: Can a company pay both cash and stock dividends?

A: Yes, a company can choose to pay both cash and stock dividends, depending on its financial situation and the preferences of its shareholders. This is sometimes known as a hybrid dividend.

Q: What is a dividend payout ratio?

A: The dividend payout ratio is a financial ratio that represents the percentage of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders. It is calculated by dividing the total dividends paid out by the company by its net income.

Q: Can a company pay dividends even if it is not profitable?

A: No, a company cannot pay dividends if it is not profitable. Dividends are paid out of a company’s earnings or retained earnings, which means that the company must be generating positive net income in order to pay dividends.

Q: What is a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP)?

A: A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) is a program offered by some companies that allows shareholders to reinvest their dividend payments into additional shares of the company’s stock, rather than receiving cash payments.

Q: How do I know if a company pays dividends?

A: You can find out if a company pays dividends by checking its financial statements, which will show the company’s dividend payments over time. Many financial websites and stock market apps also provide information about a company’s dividend payments.

Q: Are dividends taxed differently than other forms of income?

A: Yes, dividends are generally taxed at a lower rate than other forms of income, such as wages or salaries. This is because they are considered to be a return on investment rather than income from labor. However, the exact tax rate for dividends depends on the individual’s tax bracket and other factors.

Q: What is double taxation in relation to dividends?

A: Double taxation refers to the situation where a company pays taxes on its profits and then shareholders also pay taxes on the dividends they receive from those profits.

Q: How does double taxation work in practice?

A: When a company earns profits, it pays taxes on those profits to the government. Then, when the company pays dividends to its shareholders, those shareholders must also pay taxes on the dividends they receive. This means that the same income is being taxed twice.

Q: Is double taxation always a disadvantage for shareholders?

A: Not necessarily. While double taxation can be seen as a disadvantage for shareholders, it is also a sign that the company is profitable and generating income. Shareholders can still benefit from receiving dividends, even if they are taxed twice.

Q: Are there any ways to avoid double taxation on dividends?

A: One way to potentially reduce the impact of double taxation on dividends is to hold shares in a tax-advantaged account, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k). Another option is to invest in companies that offer tax-efficient dividend structures, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs) or master limited partnerships (MLPs).

Q: How do foreign taxes on dividends affect double taxation?

A: If a company pays dividends to shareholders in a foreign country, the dividends may be subject to taxes in both the home country and the foreign country. This can result in triple taxation. However, many countries have tax treaties in place to avoid or reduce double taxation for foreign investors.

Q: Can companies deduct dividends from their taxes?

A: No, companies cannot deduct dividends from their taxes. Dividends are paid out of after-tax profits, which means that they are not tax-deductible for the company.

Types Of Dividends Conclusion

In conclusion, there are different types of dividends that a company can offer, including cash dividend, stock dividend, scrip dividend, property dividend, and liquidating dividend. Understanding these different types of dividends can help investors make informed decisions about investing in a particular company.

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