How to Calculate Dividend Per Share

It’s great when you check your brokerage account and see that a company has sent you a dividend on the shares you own. You may want to know how much the dividend is per share. This is more than simple curiosity. You need to know how to calculate the dividend per share as part of computing other measurements like dividend yield and the dividend payout ratio. Financial Web says these calculations help you to assess how well your investment is performing.

Step 1

Review your stock investment records to determine the total number of shares of the stock you owned as of the record date. Companies pay dividends to shareholders based on the number of shares owned as of an announced record date, according to Money Terms.

Step 2

Divide the amount of your dividend payment by the number of shares you owned as of the record date. Don’t include any shares sold before the record date or purchased afterward. For example, if you receive a dividend payment of $250 and held 500 shares as of the record date, your dividend per share is $0.50.

Step 3

Calculate the annual dividend per share. Normally, companies pay regular dividends every three months. However, a company sometimes pays a special dividend in addition. Your annual dividend per share is equal to the regular quarterly dividend multiplied by four plus the amount per share of any special dividend payments. Suppose you receive a regular dividend of $0.50 per quarter plus a special dividend of $0.25 per share. Your annual dividend per share is ($0.50 * 4) + $0.25, which works out to $2.25 per share.

Tips

  • You can use dividend per share to compute your percentage return, called the dividend yield. To figure dividend yield, divide the annual dividend per share by the price per share you paid for the stock and multiply by 100 to convert to a percentage.
  • Dividend payout ratio tells you what percentage of a company’s earnings is paid out as dividends. Divide annual dividend per share by earnings per share (listed in the company’s annual report) and multiply by 100 to express as a percentage.

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.