Example of formula and calculation of dividend payout ratio


When it comes to investing in income, it is good to know the dividend payout ratio formula. This can give you insight into dividend security. When it comes to dividend-paying stocks, this ratio is always on my research checklist.

There are many sources that provide the dividend payout ratio. However, knowing what’s behind it will give you a boost. It’s also easy to calculate.

To get started, we’ll walk through the payout ratio formula. I’ll explain each part of the equation and how it is used, with an example. To go further, I’ll show you why some sources show different payout ratios for the same business. Without delay…

Dividend payout ratio formula

Here is the formula for the dividend payout ratio …

Payout ratio = Dividends paid ÷ Net income

Net income is the total income of the business. And dividends paid are the total dividends that a company pays to its shareholders. For mega-capitalized companies, those numbers can easily exceed $ 1 billion.

It’s also good to note that most dividend-paying stocks pay quarterly… but you will normally see the payout ratio calculated based on annual numbers. This helps to minimize seasonal fluctuations. Some quarters may be more profitable than others.

Another way to calculate the ratio is to use numbers per share. It’s easy to find the dividend per share online, as well as the earnings per share (EPS). This is what this formula looks like …

Payout ratio = Dividend per share ÷ EPS

Assuming a simple shareholding structure, this should give you the same dividend payout ratio. To see how these two formulas work, let’s give them some numbers …

Example of payout ratio

Let’s say a company pays out $ 2 billion in dividends for the year and has net income of $ 5 billion. Plugging that into the formula would give a dividend payout ratio of 40% …

40% = $ 2 billion ÷ $ 5 billion

Using this same example, let’s take a look at it by action. And to do this, we will need additional information …

Suppose the company has 10 billion shares outstanding. This then gives us a dividend per share of $ 0.20 and EPS of $ 0.50. I got these numbers by dividing $ 2 billion and $ 5 billion by the 10 billion shares.

Here is the formula of the dividend payout ratio with these figures per share …

40% = $ 0.20 ÷ $ 0.50

Hope this example gives a clear understanding of how to calculate the ratio. For the next step, let’s see how this information can help you better investment decisions.

What is a good payment report?

You can use the payout ratio formula to determine dividend security. For example, 40% might indicate that the company has the ability to pay more to its shareholders. However, it is important to consider that some of the income may need to be allocated to other efforts. There are costs to maintaining and growing the business.

However, if the payout rate is over 100%, it means the business is paying more than it is earning. And that usually can’t go on for long. Paying more than what a business earns each year is not sustainable.

In the short term, companies may have additional cash to pay out. This is one of the reasons you might see payout ratios above 100%. There are also some weird accounting rules that I will cover below.

Overall, paying dividends can be a great way to reward shareholders. And some companies have a long history of paying more each year. In these cases, we can observe the evolution of the dividend payout ratio over time. If it climbs and exceeds earnings growth, it means the dividend might not be as secure going forward. And it all really depends on the future growth of the company’s profits.

Free cash flow dividend payout ratio

As you have seen with the dividend payout ratio formula, the use of net income or profits is the most common. However, there are many different accounting rules for determining a business’s profit. Even non-cash transactions can count towards profit. It is therefore not always the most reliable or the most useful.

Sometimes you will see free cash flow used instead. This can give a better idea of ​​the real money going into the business. It is therefore good to know the different accounting techniques. And if you’re familiar with REITs, they’re required to pay at least 90% of certain cash flow to maintain their tax position. This is why you will often see higher dividend yields for REITs.

Overall there is a lot of variability and the basic concept is useful to know. You can determine which payout ratios are most useful for your investment approach.

Dividend calculator and investment opportunities

Dividend stocks can be a great source of income. And the dividend payout ratio formula can help you determine their safety. Many of the best investors in the world are turning to dividend investing and this income helps them expand their portfolios.

To see how a dividend investment can grow, check out this free dividend calculator. It also shows you the power to reinvest your dividends. With this approach, your income increases each year to a higher amount.

If you want help finding some of the best dividend paying stocks, sign up for Wealth retreat also. This is a free email newsletter full of investment tips and tricks. You will hear directly from Marc Lichtenfeld. He literally wrote the book on Rich Dividend and has helped hundreds of thousands of readers.

About Brian Kehm

Brian Kehm graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in finance and accounting. After graduating, he went to work for a cryptocurrency company in Beijing. Upon his return to the United States, he began working with financial publishers and also passed the CFA exams. When Brian isn’t researching and sharing ideas online, you can usually find him climbing or exploring the great outdoors.


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