Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 15, 2010

Crystal Ball Earth In looking at the latest quarterly dividend futures data, we found what could well turn out to be a historical anomaly in the data if the future plays out as investors currently expect.

Looking ahead to 2011, we see the first quarter of 2011 as a peak in the cash dividends per share expected to be paid out, with a projected $6.16 per share currently expected to be paid out to investors, which is both greater than the preceding expected fourth quarter payout in 2010 and the following expected second quarter payout of 2011.

What makes this extremely unusual is that in the quarterly data we have recorded by S&P in their Index Earnings data spreadsheet going back to the first quarter of 1988, this would be the only time we've ever seen that pattern in the available historical data. (Note: We have trailing year dividend data going back much farther.)

The proof of that may be seen in our following chart, in which we're showing the quarterly dividend data for the S&P 500 going back to the first quarter of 1998, through the dividend futures data going through the second quarter of 2011 that we have available as of today:

S&P 500 Quarterly Dividends per Share, March 1998 through March 2010, with Futures Through June 2011

The usual pattern is to see dividends per share to peak in the fourth quarter of each year, as companies seek to pay out a larger share of the profits they earned during the previous year to their shareholders in the current tax year for individuals.

Meanwhile, during periods of recession, it's not unusual for the first quarter data to be greater than the following quarter, as companies trim dividend payments in hard times, but the first quarter will normally be less than the preceding fourth quarter.

So 2011 is shaping up to be unique. We wouldn't say the current period of disorder in the stock market, and by extension, the private sector of the U.S. economy, is set to end anytime soon.


About Political Calculations

blog advertising
is good for you

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts


This year, we'll be experimenting with a number of apps to bring more of a current events focus to Political Calculations - we're test driving the app(s) below!

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Visitors since December 6, 2004:

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links
Charities We Support
Recommended Reading
Recommended Viewing
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.