S&P 500 Index’s Dividend Payout Sets Another All-Time High In Q4’18


View from the Observation Deck 

  1. S&P 500 Index companies paid out a record high $119.81 billion in cash dividends in Q4'18 (preliminary data).
  2. It marked the 9th consecutive quarter in which cash dividend distributions exceeded $100.00 billion. Over the past 41 quarters through Q4'18, the average quarterly dividend payout was $80.54 billion.
  3. The low point in the chart was the $47.21 billion paid out in Q3'09, the first quarter of the current economic expansion. From Q3'09 to Q4'18, the index's quarterly dividend payout increased by 153.78%.
  4. S&P 500 Index companies paid out a record $456.31 billion (preliminary data) in 2018, up 8.70% from the $419.77 billion distributed in 2017, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  5. Four sectors contributed 54.44% of the S&P 500 Index's dividend payout as of 12/31/18. Here was the breakdown: 16.46% (Information Technology); 14.24% (Financials); 12.77% (Health Care); and 10.97% (Consumer Staples), according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  6. The S&P 500 Index's estimated annual dividend payouts for 2019 and 2020 were $57.69 per share and $61.73 per share, respectively, as of 3/27/18, up from $53.86 per share in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
  7. The steady rise in record-setting dividend distributions throughout the current economic recovery suggests that Corporate America is still on solid footing, in our opinion.

This chart is for illustrative purposes only and not indicative of any actual investment. There can be no assurance that any of the projections cited will occur. The illustration excludes the effects of taxes and brokerage commissions or other expenses incurred when investing. Investors cannot invest directly in an index. The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index comprised of 500 stocks (currently 505) used to measure large-cap U.S. stock market performance.

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Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019 @ 1:13 PM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.