The Importance Of Dividends

As previously noted in a different context, when a company makes money it usually pays a part of its earnings to its shareholders in the form of dividends. A typical payout is about 50 percent of the earnings. Thus, if a company made $20 million in a year and if there were 5 million shares of stock, this company might declare dividends in the amount of $10 million, retaining the other half for immediate operations and/or expansion. So if there were 5 million shares of stock in the company, each shareowner would receive $2 per share. If one owned 100 shares, the dividend would be $200. To carry the arithmetic a step further, if a stock sold at $40 per share and yielded a $2 dividend, the rate of return per share would be 5 percent.