There are four types of dividend policy – firstly regular dividend policy, secondly irregular dividend policy, thirdly stable dividend policy which is further divided into per share constant dividend, pay-out ratio constant, stable dividend plus extra dividend and lastly no dividend policy.
Dividend Policy Types
The policy of the dividend distribution of the company dictates the number of dividends that the company pays to its shareholders along with the frequency with which dividends are paid. When the profits are earned by the company then it has to make regarding how and where that profit will be used. The company can either retain profits earned or else they can decide to distribute the same in the form of the dividends to its shareholders. There are different types of policies related to the dividend which the company can follow.
Four Most common types of dividend policy are –
- Regular dividend policy
- Stable Dividend Policy
- Irregular Dividend Policy
- No Dividend Policy
Let us discuss each one of them in detail –
Top 4 Most Common Types of Dividend Policies
#1 – Regular Dividend Policy
Under this type of dividend policy, the company follows the procedure to pay out a dividend to its shareholders every year. If the company earns abnormal profit then it retains the extra profit whereas on the other side if it remains in loss any year then also it pays a dividend to its shareholders. This type of policy is adopted by the company who are having stable earnings and steady cash flow. In the eyes of investors, the company paying regular dividends are considered as low risk despite the fact the quantum of regular dividend might be comparatively low. Under this policy, the investors get dividends at a normal rate.
The class of investors putting their investments into these companies is generally risk-averse who mainly belongs to the retired or weaker section of the society and aims at regular income. This policy can be adopted by the company only if it is having a regular income. The main demerit regarding this policy is that investors cannot expect an increase in dividend even if the market is relatively booming high. This type of policy helps in creating confidence among the shareholders and also helps in stabilizing the market value of shares which results in an increase in goodwill of the company.
#2 – Stable Dividend Policy
Under this type of dividend policy, the company follows the procedure to pay out a defined fixed percentage of profits as dividends every year. For example, suppose a company sets the payout rate at 10% then this percentage of profit will be paid out as dividends every year regardless of the quantum of profit. Whether a company makes a profit of $1 million or $200000, a fixed rate of dividend will be paid out to the shareholders. In the eyes of investors, the company adopting this policy is considered as risky reason being the amount of dividend fluctuates with the level of profit.
In it, the company makes three components for their dividends which are one part constant amount of dividend per share and the other part is a constant payout ratio and last is stable rupee dividend plus extra dividend. The constant dividend per share is paid through the reserve fund which is created for this purpose. The company actual volatility cannot be seen through the dividend payout. The stable dividend policy is defined by the target payout ratio. It also helps in stabilizing the market value of shares in the same line as regular dividend policy.
#3 – Irregular Dividend Policy
Under this type of dividend policy company states that it has no obligation in respect of paying a dividend to the shareholders. The quantum and rate of the dividend will be decided by the board of directors who will take the decision in respect of action to be taken with the earned profit. Their action in respect of paying dividend has nothing to do with the company’s scenario of earning a profit or coming into the loss. It totally depends on the decision of the board of directors. The board might take the decision to distribute profit despite having low or no profit with the aim of gaining the confidence of investors so that they will invest more into the company and the company’s liquidity will increase.
On the other hand, the company might retain all or major amounts of profit and distribute no or less amount of dividend with the aim of increasing the growth of the company by using the retained earnings. Moreover, this type of policy is adopted by the company who are having irregular cash flow and lacks liquidity. In the eyes of Investors Company paying irregular dividends is considered as risky and investing in this type of company is preferred by the class of investors who are risk lovers.
#4 – No Dividend Policy
Under this type of dividend policy, the company follows the procedure of paying no dividend to the shareholders irrespective of its profit or loss scenario. The payout ratio will be 0%. The total earning will be retained by the company with the objective of reinvesting into the company model of business to expand it further with an increased rate and without hurdling into the issues like liquidity. The company gets funds through the earning for shareholders and it is the cheaper cost of financing resulting in an increase in profit.
These types of policy are adopted by the company who are generally startup or company (like Google, Facebook) who have already established the trust among the investors. For startups, it helps in expanding their business which will result in the overall growth of the business. The shareholders invest in the company’s following no dividend policy with the aim that their overall value of an investment will increase with the growth of the company. For them, appreciation in share price is more important than the regular dividend. The class of investors investing in the company following this policy generally belongs to younger or middle ages that are not more bend towards regular income.
In any company dividends and the dividend policy plays an important role as many investors consider this as an important factor while deciding whether they should invest in the stocks of the particular company or not. Dividends help the investors investing in the company to earn the high rate of return on the investment done by them, and the dividend payment policy of the company is the reflection of the financial performance of the company. Thus the company should choose the dividend policy that it will be following properly as it is critical to the company’s financial growth and success.
This has been a guide to Dividend Policy Types. Here we discuss the top 4 most common types of dividend policies with a detailed and brief explanation. You can learn more about accounting from the following articles –