What is the Dividend Formula?
When an organization or a firm earns a profit at the end of the accounting year, they may take a resolution in the Board meeting or through shareholder’s approval in certain cases to share a portion of their earned profits with their stockholders, which are called dividends. Using the formula below, we can determine the percentage of dividends paid to the stockholders from the net profit earned for that accounting year.
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For eg:
Source: Dividend Formula (wallstreetmojo.com)
Dividend Ratio Formula = Total Dividends/ Net Income
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Key Takeaways
 The dividend formula utilizes net profit to determine the percentage of dividends paid to stockholders. Dividends can be distributed in a Board meeting or with shareholder approval.
 Analyzing a company’s dividend payments and retained earnings provides insights into its objectives. The retention ratio, calculated by subtracting the dividend payout ratio from 1, can further explain the company’s investment strategies.
 Investors need to consider multiple dividend ratios, including consolidated dividend ratios, to assess a company’s confidence.
Explanation of Dividend Formula
Sharing the profit earned is an afterthought for an organization or the firm. But, first, the management will decide how much they can reinvest into the firm so that its business can grow huge, and the company can multiply the stockholders’ hardearned money instead of just sharing it with them. That is the reason the dividend is crucial.
Furthermore, it tells one about how much the firm or the organization is rewarding or, in order words, paying the dividend to its stockholders. Further again, how much the firm or the organization is reinvesting into itself can be called retained earnings Retained EarningsRetained Earnings are defined as the cumulative earnings earned by the company till the date after adjusting for the distribution of the dividend or the other distributions to the investors of the company. It is shown as the part of owner’s equity in the liability side of the balance sheet of the company.read more.
Sometimes, the firm or the organization doesn’t desire to pay anything to their stockholders as the management would feel the need to reinvestReinvestReinvestment is the process of investing the returns received from investment in dividends, interests, or cash rewards to purchase additional shares and reinvesting the gains. Investors do not opt for cash benefits as they are reinvesting their profits in their portfolio.read more the profits earned by the company as that can aid the firm to grow bigger and faster.
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Calculation Examples
Let us see some simple to advanced examples to understand them better.
Example #1
Patel Ltd. last paid a dividend of $150,000 when it made a net profit of $450,000. This year, the company is also looking to pay a dividend as they have done spectacular business, and shareholders are pleased about it. The company has decided to increase its dividend by 2%. Compute the dividend payout ratio for this year.
Solution:
Last year’s dividend and net profits were $150,000 and $450,000. Therefore, we can use the formula below to calculate dividends and generate a dividend payoutDividend PayoutThe dividend payout ratio is the ratio between the total amount of dividends paid (preferred and normal dividend) to the company's net income. Formula = Dividends/Net Incomeread more.
Therefore, the calculation of the dividend payout ratio is as follows: –
Dividend Formula =Total Dividends / Net Income
= 150,000/ 450,000 *100
Dividend Payout will be: –
 Dividend Payout = 33.33%
Now, the company proposes to pay an additional dividend of 2% from last year. Hence this year, the dividend would be 33.33% + 2.00%, which is 35.33%.
Current Dividend Payout = 35.33%.
Current Dividend Payout = 35.33%.
Example #2
Mr. Lesnar is a wealthy investor and is now considering the Indian stock market to invest in. However, he is skeptical and wants to be riskaverse as he is new to the market. Mr. Lesnar has heard the name BSE since that is also a marketrecognized exchange. He will only invest if the company has a more than 30% dividend payout ratio for the last two years. He has extracted the income statementIncome StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user requirements.read more of BSE Ltd., and the following are the details. Now, you must ascertain whether Mr. Lesnar would invest in this company.
Solution:
We are given the last two year’s dividends and net profit as $150.64 million, $191.70 million, and $220.57 million, $711.28 million, respectively.
Therefore, the calculation of the dividend payout ratio for 2017 will be as follows: –
Dividend Ratio 2017= Total Dividends /Net Income
= 150.64 /220.57 x 100
Dividend Payout for 2017 will be: –
 Dividend Ratio 2017 = 68.30%
Therefore, the calculation of the dividend ratio for 2018 will be as follows: –
Dividend Formula 2018 = Total Dividends/Net Income
= 191.70 / 711.28 x 100
Dividend Payout for 2018 will be: –
 Dividend Payout 2018 = 26.95%
Since the dividend payout ratio for 2018 is less than 30%, Mr. Lesnar may not choose to invest in BSE Ltd.
Example #3
Swastik Ltd., a small company in the Valsad district, registered itself as a private limited company. The directors are in the finalization stage of financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels.read more and want to pay dividends for $353,000. Still, they are unsure what percentage of profits they give as dividends. Therefore, you must ascertain the dividend payout ratio based on the below extracts from financial statements.
Solution:
First, we need to ascertain the company’s net profit for the report date, March 2017.
Therefore, the calculation of the dividend payout for 2017 will be as follows: –
Dividend Payout 2017 = Total Dividends /Net Income
= 353,000 / 460,000 x 100
Dividend Payout Ratio for 2017 will be:
Dividend Payout 2017 = 76.74%
Dividend Calculator
You can use this calculator
Total Dividends  
Net Income  
Dividend Payout Ratio  
Dividend Payout Ratio = 


Relevance and Uses
Understanding the mathematics between dividend payments and retained earnings will aid an investor or the shareholder comprehend the shortterm and longterm goals and objectives of the firm or the company. One can also use this dividend to determine the company’s retention ratio. When you subtract the dividend payout ratio from 1, you will get the retention ratioRetention RatioRetention ratio indicates the percentage of a company’s earnings which is not paid out as dividends but credited back as retained earnings. This ratio highlights how much of the profit is being retained as profits towards the development of the firm.read more, which depicts how much the company is confident for its future and how much they want to invest.
The stock analyst mostly uses this ratio for investors to ascertain the company’s confidence. However, other dividend ratios should be looked at, at the consolidated level and not judged on a single ratio like dividend per shareDividend Per ShareDividends per share are calculated by dividing the total amount of dividends paid out by the company over a year by the total number of average shares held.read more, dividend yieldDividend YieldDividend yield ratio is the ratio of a company's current dividend to its current share price. It represents the potential return on investment for a given stock.read more, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Although dividends are not technically part of stockholder equity, their distribution can reduce the amount of stockholder equity recorded on a company’s balance sheet. This occurs because dividends are paid out of retained earnings, directly affecting stockholder equity.
As a shareholder, you may receive dividends, which are distributions of profits generated by a company’s operations. These distributions, being a share of the company’s earnings, are not considered expenses and do not directly reduce the company’s profits. Therefore, dividend formulas themselves do not have a direct impact on the company’s profit.
The dividend formula involves distributing a portion of a company’s retained earnings to its shareholders. Since these retained earnings are generated through profitable operations and are already accounted for in the company’s income, dividends do not count as expenses and do not decrease the company’s income. Therefore, dividend formulas do not directly decrease a company’s income.
Recommended Articles
This article is a guide to Dividend Formula. Here, we discuss the calculation of dividend using dividend formula, examples, and a downloadable Excel template. You can learn more about financial analysis from the following articles: –
 Dividend Reinvestment PlanDividend Reinvestment PlanThe dividend reinvestment plan is the option chosen by the investor to reinvest the amount of cash dividend payable by the company in new shares of the underlying securities on the date of dividend payment.read more
 Dividend Declared DefinitionDividend Declared DefinitionDividend declared is that portion of profits earned that the company’s board of directors decides to pay off as dividends to the shareholders of such company in return to the investment done by the shareholders through the purchase of the company’s securities.read more
 Examples of Dividends
 Formula of Dividend YieldFormula Of Dividend YieldDividend Yield is calculated by dividing annual dividend per share by current market price of the share. It is one of the most important metrics in deciding whether an investment into the share will result in the expected returns.read more