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How to Calculate Dividend Per Share: Formula, Process, Example

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August 12, 2022


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One of the many reasons why investing in stocks is a good idea is because of the dividends they give. This distribution of a company’s profits helps instil good faith among investors.

Calculating Dividend Per Share (DPS) is a fundamental aspect of evaluating an investment's income potential. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting your financial journey, how to calculate dividend per share is crucial to understand. 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we'll walk you through the ins and outs of DPS calculation with dividend per share formula and straightforward examples for finding dividends per share. By the end, you'll have a clear grasp of assessing the dividend income you can expect from your investments.

What is Dividend Per Share (DPS)?

Dividends per share is a financial measure that shows how much of a company's earnings are given to each shareholder per share. If a company makes money, it can choose to give that money to its shareholders as dividends or use it to grow the business. Dividend per share shows how much money a company gives for each share during a specific period of time.

Why is Understanding Dividend Per Share Crucial for Evaluating a Company's Financial Performance?

Understanding DPS (Dividends Per Share) is crucial for evaluating a company's financial performance for several reasons. It also helps you calculate dividend per share. 

Income Stream

DPS provides insight into the income generated for shareholders. It helps investors assess the company's ability to provide a return on their investment through dividends.


Consistent or increasing DPS over time suggests financial stability and profitability, which can attract investors seeking steady income.

Dividend Yield

Calculating dividend yield (DPS divided by the stock price) helps investors compare the income generated by different stocks, aiding investment decisions.

Cash Flow

DPS reflects a company's cash flow for distribution to shareholders, indicating its financial health.

Investor Confidence

Companies with a history of reliable dividend payments can build investor confidence and trust.

Dividend Policy

Understanding DPS can provide insights into a company's dividend policy and its commitment to distributing profits to shareholders.

Growth Potential

Changes in DPS can signal a company's growth potential or financial challenges, influencing investment strategies. 

What is The Standard Formula For Calculating Dividend Per Share?

There are two methods to determine how to calculate dividends per share: 

Method #1: 

Dividend per share = total dividends paid / shares outstanding

Method #2: 

Dividends per share = earnings per share x dividend payout ratio

Here, dividend payout ratio = total dividends / net income

Example of How to Calculate Dividend Per Share using a Formula

ITC has distributed annual dividends of ₹20 lakh over the past few years. Shares outstanding at the start of the time frame were 400,000, and shares at the conclusion were 700,000.

Here's how to determine ITC dividends per share:

  • To determine the average number of outstanding shares, use the simple average formula: (400,000 + 700,000) / 2 = 550,000.
  • The number of outstanding shares at the beginning was 400,000; at the end, it was 700,000.
  • The total value of dividends paid per year was ₹20 lakh.

Using the Dividend Per Share (DPS) formula, we get:

DPS = Dividend / Number of shares = ₹20 lakh / 5.5 lakh shares = ₹3.64 per share.

How Can Investors Interpret The Calculated DPS Figures?

Interpreting DPS (Dividends Per Share) involves comparing it to historical data, calculating dividend yield, considering stability, and examining the payout ratio, industry benchmarks, and the company's financial health, goals, and market conditions to assess its potential as an investment. 

What Do High or Low DPS Values Indicate About a Company's Dividend Policy?

High and low DPS (Dividends Per Share) values can indicate different aspects of a company's dividend policy:

High DPS: 

  • Generosity: A high DPS suggests that the company is distributing a significant portion of its earnings to shareholders as dividends. This can indicate a generous dividend policy.
  • Income: Investors seeking regular income may find high DPS attractive as it provides substantial dividend payments.

Low DPS: 

  • Conservativeness: A low DPS indicates that the company retains a larger portion of its earnings for reinvestment or other purposes. It suggests a more conservative dividend policy.
  • Growth: Companies with low DPS may prioritize growth and reinvestment in the business, potentially leading to future capital appreciation.

In summary, high DPS values indicate a more generous and income-focused dividend policy, while low DPS values suggest a more conservative approach focused on growth and reinvestment. The interpretation may vary depending on investors' income needs and investment objectives. 


Dividend payments can help attract investors, indicate the strength of a company, or provide investment opportunities. However, companies may choose not to issue dividends for various reasons. While dividend payments are an essential factor to consider, they should not be the only factor. Investors should also consider the company's financial health, management, and industry trends.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Dividend Per Share (DPS), and why is it important for investors?

Dividend Per Share (DPS) is a financial metric that represents the portion of a company's earnings distributed to shareholders for each share they own. It's essential for investors because it provides insights into a company's dividend policy, financial stability, and potential for income generation. Investors use DPS to assess the attractiveness of a stock as an income-generating investment and evaluate the company's commitment to rewarding shareholders. 

2. How do I calculate Dividend Per Share for a company?

To calculate Dividend Per Share (DPS) for a company, use the following formula:

DPS = Total Dividends Paid / Total Number of Outstanding Shares 

3. Can you explain the components of the Dividend Per Share formula?

The Dividend Per Share (DPS) formula consists of two main components:

  1. Total Dividends Paid: This represents the total amount of dividends distributed to shareholders during a specific period, typically a fiscal year or a quarter.
  2. Total Number of Outstanding Shares: This refers to the total number of company shares held by investors and shareholders.

By dividing the total dividends paid by the total number of outstanding shares, you calculate the DPS, which indicates the amount of dividend income attributed to each share.

4. What is the significance of the number of outstanding common shares in DPS calculation?

The number of outstanding common shares is significant in DPS (Dividend Per Share) calculation because it determines how the total dividend amount is distributed among shareholders. 

A higher number of outstanding shares means that the dividend amount is spread across more shares, resulting in a lower DPS per share. Conversely, a lower number of outstanding shares leads to a higher DPS per share, indicating a potentially more substantial dividend income for individual shareholders.

5. How do I find the dividend paid to common shareholders for DPS calculation?

To find the dividend paid to common shareholders for DPS (Dividend Per Share) calculation, you can refer to a company's financial statement, particularly in the income statement or statement of cash flows. Look for the line item that represents explicitly the total dividend payments made to common shareholders during a given period, such as a fiscal year or quarter. This figure is the "Total Dividends Paid" component required for the DPS formula. 


Investment and securities are subject to market risks. Please read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, mutual funds, or any other financial products.
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