How to calculate dividend per share

Alice Garcia

September 12, 2023

How to calculate dividend per share

Investors are often drawn to stocks that offer consistent dividends, as they provide a steady stream of income and can be an essential component of a diversified investment portfolio. When considering dividend-paying stocks, it's crucial to understand how to calculate the dividend per share (DPS).

This metric helps investors assess the potential income they can earn from their investments. In this article, we'll delve into the details of calculating dividend per share, providing you with a clear understanding of this fundamental concept.

What is dividend per share (DPS)?

Dividend Per Share (DPS) is a financial metric that measures the amount of cash or stock dividends a company distributes to its shareholders on a per-share basis. It is a key indicator of a company's profitability and its commitment to sharing profits with its investors. Calculating DPS allows investors to gauge the dividend income they can expect to receive for each share they own.

The formula for calculating dividend per share

DPS can be calculated using the following simple formula:

DPS = Total Dividends Paid / Total Number of Outstanding Shares

To break it down further:

  1. Total Dividends Paid: This represents the sum of all cash and stock dividends distributed by the company during a specific period, typically a quarter or a year. You can find this information in the company's financial statements, such as the income statement or the cash flow statement.

  2. Total Number of Outstanding Shares: This refers to the total number of shares issued by the company and held by shareholders. You can usually find this figure in the company's annual report or on financial news websites.

Calculating dividend per share step by step

Let's work through an example to illustrate how to calculate DPS:

Suppose Company XYZ paid a total of $1,000,000 in dividends during the last quarter, and they have 1,000,000 shares outstanding.

Using the formula:

DPS = 1,000,000 / 1,000,000 = $1 per share

In this example, Company XYZ's dividend per share is $1.

Factors to keep in mind

  1. Dividend Frequency: DPS can be calculated for different time periods, such as quarterly or annually, depending on the company's dividend policy. Make sure to use the appropriate time frame when analyzing DPS.

  2. Stock Dividends: If a company pays stock dividends instead of cash dividends, you will need to determine the fair market value of the stock distributed to shareholders and use that value in the DPS calculation.

  3. Changes in Outstanding Shares: Be aware that the number of outstanding shares can change over time due to stock splits, buybacks, or new issuances. It's essential to use the most recent and accurate figure when calculating DPS.

Understanding how to calculate dividend per share is a valuable skill for investors seeking income from their investments. By analyzing DPS, investors can assess the income potential of dividend-paying stocks and make informed decisions about their portfolios.

Remember to stay updated with a company's financial statements and dividend policies to ensure you have the most accurate information for your calculations.