Final dividend is the amount declared by the board of directors to be payable as dividend to the shareholders of the company after the financial statements are prepared and issued by the company for the relevant financial year and is commonly announced in the annual general meeting of the company.
What is Final Dividend?
Final Dividend is the dividend announced by the Company after the preparation of the final accounts and usually announced during the Annual General Meeting of the Company.
- As mentioned above, the final dividend is the part of earnings distributed by the Company to its shareholders during the Annual Meeting of shareholders after the Company has prepared the financial statements for the fiscal year.
- It is generally larger than the interim dividend. This is because the Company tends to be little conservative during the financial year until it gets the annual accounts i.e revenues and expenditures for the year.
- After, the Company knows its profits for the financial year it chooses to retain some portion for future business needs while remaining is distributed amongst the shareholders as the final dividend.
Based on the timing of the dividend announced by the Company, it is of two types:
- Interim dividend
- Final Dividend
The interim dividend is the dividend announced by the Board of the Company before the finalization of the annual accounts and in between the financial year.
Important Key Points of Final Dividend
Some key points are as below:
- It is decided by the Board of the Company and should be aligned with the dividend policy of the Company.
- The final dividend is usually a cash dividend and not a stock dividend. However, the Company may choose to pay both cash and stock dividend or only stock dividend.
- This is announced by the Board and voted by the shareholders during the Annual General Meeting of the Company.
- Approval of such dividend is considered as an ordinary resolution and an ordinary business
- The final dividend is announced after the financial statements of the Company are approved and the financial position and profits of the Company are ascertained.
- Once approved, this dividend is the obligation of the Company and the decision of payment cannot be reversed.
- These dividend payments do not require a special provision in the articles of association of the Company.
- It is not binding on the Company to announce the final dividend. Although, dividend policy may clause some fixed payment each year, however, this dividend is announced on the will of the Board of the Company after looking at the financial position of the Company.
- If the Company has not made any profits in a financial year, it may choose to not pay any dividend or some dividend may be paid out of the free reserves of the Company. The government laws on such payment from free reserves for loss-making Companies may differ from country to country.
Example of Final Dividend
An investor holds 100 shares of a Company ABC which has announced a final dividend of $ 3.5. The investor will receive $ 350 as the year-end dividend on his investment.
Now, the Company has doubled the dividend the next year i.e. it is paying $ 7 per share. Thus, the investor will receive $ 700 as the year-end dividend on his 100 shares holding in the Company.
Final Dividend vs Interim Dividend
Although final and interim dividends both are paid to the investors as a return on their investment, there are some key differences between them. So let us look at the differences between the final vs interim dividend.
- The interim dividend is announced and paid in the middle of the financial year whereas the final dividend is paid after the completion of the financial year.
- The interim dividend is declared before the finalization of the accounts whereas the final dividend is paid after the finalization of the accounts.
- An interim dividend can be canceled with shareholder’s consent but the year-end dividend once approved cannot be canceled and it becomes an obligation of the Company to pay a year-end dividend.
- The interim dividend is usually lesser than the year-end dividend.
- Interim dividend requires a provision in the articles of association of the Company however, no such provision is required for a year-end dividend.
Final dividends are also called year-end dividend. The term “final” should not be confused with the final dividend paid by the Company and it ceases to exist. Such a dividend is called a liquidating dividend. A liquidating dividend is a type of payment made by the Company when it closes its operations and pays the shareholders any amount/capital available with it after selling off the assets and paying its debts/other liabilities. The liquidating dividend is paid from the capital base of the Company whereas the year-end dividend is paid from the profits earned from the operations of the Company.
The dividend is the return provided by the Company to the shareholders from the profits earned during the financial year. The Company may announce a dividend during the part of the year called the interim dividend or it may announce the dividend at the end of the year once it has ascertained the profits and financial position of the Company. Such declaration of dividend after the annual accounts have been prepared is called final dividend or year-end dividend. Year-end dividends are paid on annual basis and are generally higher than interim dividends given by the Company.
Final Dividend Video
This has been a guide to what is Final Dividend. Here we discuss key features of such a year-end dividend along with examples. Also, we discuss the differences between Interim Dividend vs Final Dividend. You can learn more about Shareholders Equity from the following articles –