Unexpectedly Intriguing!
02 November 2018

Following what is seasonally the weakest month for dividend-paying firms in the U.S. stock market, October 2018 was, by comparison, solid but not spectacular. The following chart shows how the number of dividend increases and decreases announced during the month compares with all the previous months for which we have data.

Number of Public U.S. Companies Increasing (Blue) or Decreasing (Red) Their Dividends, January 2004 through October 2018

For October 2018, the chart shows a rebound in the number of firms increasing dividends and also a decrease in the number of dividend cut announcements during the month, as reported by S&P. Unfortunately, the number of reported dividend cuts during the month may not be as good as it looks, which we'll discuss more after we run through the dividend numbers for the month.

  • No fewer than 3,654 firms declared dividends in October 2018, an increase of 31 over the 3,623 that made similar declarations in September 2018, and up dramatically (577) from the 3,077 that issued dividend declarations in October 2017.
  • There were 38 announcements related to paying an extra, or special, dividend payment to shareholders in October 2018. While that figure represents an increase of 14 over the 24 extra dividends that were announced in the previous month, it represents a decrease of 3 firms from the total of 41 that were registered in the previous October.
  • 172 firms declared that they were increasing their cash dividends in October 2018, up by 101 from September 2018's seasonal low total of 71 firms. October 2018's total was 12 fewer than the 184 that was recorded in October 2017.
  • Standard and Poor counted just 13 dividend cuts in October 2018, down from the total of 26 they counted in September 2018. This figure was also six less than the 19 that were counted in October 2017.
  • Two firms declared that they would omit paying dividends during the month, rising by one from September 2018's total of one, but down by four from October 2017's count of six dividend-omitting firms.

We think that S&P's Divstat system undercounted the number of dividend cut announcements during October 2018. Focusing on dividend cutting firms, we confirmed at least 22 dividend cut announcements for U.S.-based firms in October 2018, the majority of which (13) hail from the oil and gas industry, which was largely made up of firms that pay monthly dividends as a fixed percentage of their volatile monthly earnings. The remaining firms represent a pretty broad cross section spanning a number of industries, including financial, real estate investment trusts, food, manufacturing, mining, utilities, consumer goods, and healthcare, which had either one or two firms each. Here's the full list we extracted from our two sources of dividend declarations made in near real-time during October 2018.

We're not sure what's up with S&P's dividend cut count, which will hopefully be resolved in the near future. In the meantime, we'll continue cross-checking its monthly results with the data we extract from other sources.

Data Sources

Standard and Poor. S&P Market Attributes Web File. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 1 November 2018.

Seeking Alpha Market Currents. Filtered for Dividends. [Online Database]. Accessed 1 November 2018.

Wall Street Journal. Dividend Declarations. [Online Database]. Accessed 1 November 2018.


About Political Calculations

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

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

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

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

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
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.