A company can pay a portion of its net income, or profits, as dividends to stockholders, which increases stockholders’ return on their investment. A company’s revenues and expenses increase and decrease its net income, respectively. The percentage of net income it distributes as dividends is called the payout ratio. You can find the amount of dividends a company pays if you know its revenues, expenses and payout ratio. With all else being equal, a company that pays higher dividends generates higher returns for stockholders than one that pays lower dividends.
Find a company’s income statement in its 10-K annual report. You can get the 10-K annual report from the investor relations page of the company’s website or from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR online database.
Look for the amount of the company’s total revenue and total expenses on the income statement. For example, assume the company’s income statement shows $200,000 in total revenues and $80,000 in total expenses.
Subtract total expenses from total revenues to calculate the company’s net income. In this example, subtract $80,000 from $200,000 to get $120,000 in net income.
Visit any financial website that provides stock information. Find the company’s payout ratio and the number of shares outstanding in its stock quote section. In this example, assume the company has a payout ratio of 40 percent and 100,000 shares outstanding.
Multiply the company’s payout ratio by its net income to calculate its dividends. In the example, multiply 40 percent, or 0.4, by $120,000 to get $48,000 in dividends.
Divide the company’s dividends by its number of shares outstanding to calculate the dividends per share, which is the amount of dividends it pays for each share of stock. Continuing the example, divide $48,000 by 100,000 to get $0.48, or 48 cents per share.
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