How to Find Dividends Per Share


Dividends per share can be calculated by dividing the total dollar amount of cash dividends paid by a company in a year by the number of shares outstanding. This number does not include special dividends. In fact, if a special dividend is paid by a company that also pays a regular dividend, the special payout is subtracted from the total of the two dividends to get the dividends per share.

Find the annual dividend that the company pays on a financial-information website, such as

Find out how many shares outstanding the company has.

Multiply the number of outstanding shares by the annual dividend to get the sum of the dividends paid and then divide that number by 1 million shares outstanding to calculate the per share payout. The math looks like this 1,000,000 x 1.80 = 1,800,000. 1,800,000 ÷ 1,000,00 = $1.80 per share per year.

Remember to exclude special dividends.

Tips & Warnings

  • Calculating dividends per share isn't something every investor wants to spend time doing. It's best used as a double-check against data found on a financial Web site. To get the most current dividend per share data, contact the company's investor relations department. Always hold a few dividend-paying stocks in your portfolio, because dividends account for a sizable portion of the returns over your portfolio's lifespan.
  • Be wary of high dividend yields and companies that have a history of cutting their dividends.

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