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A Comprehensive Guide to Interpreting Stocks with a Stable Dividend Policy

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July 7, 2022


What’s Inside

A stable dividend policy is a method employed by companies to distribute a portion of their earnings to their shareholders through dividends. This approach aims to provide predictability and a steady income source to investors, increasing their confidence in the company. In this article, we discuss how stable dividend policies are implemented, how to identify companies with such policies, and how to evaluate them. Also, we answer some frequently asked questions about dividend policies.

In a nutshell:

A dividend policy outlines how a company distributes dividends to shareholders. There are three types of dividend policies: stable, constant, and residual.

Before reading this article, you may want to check out our primer on dividend policy – a quick 5-minute read.

What Is A Stable Dividend Policy?

A stable dividend policy aims to ensure a predictable payout, which most investors value. Whether the payout increases or decreases, investors will continue to receive dividends. Dividends are typically distributed every quarter but may be paid out annually or semi-annually. Shareholders can be certain they will receive a dividend payout at least once a year.

How Does This Work?

Simply put, every year the company sets a benchmark for distributing a portion of its accumulated profits to shareholders through dividends. These are usually mature companies that are not going to experiment with growth strategies and the like.

How Is A Stable Dividend Policy Implemented?

  • Constant payout ratio: predetermined percentage of profits disbursed
  • Constant dividend per share: fixed amount of cash dividends distributed
  • A combination of the above two: fixed dividend payout and additional dividend in line with earnings

How to Identify Shares With A Stable Dividend Policy?

To buy shares in a company, you need to research different ratios and parameters. Annual reports will tell you the dividend payout ratio, but not the actual dividend policy. The dividend payout ratio (DPR) measures how much of a company's earnings after tax (EAT) is paid to shareholders. It shows how profitable a company is and whether it aims for growth or stability.

Growing companies may not pay any dividends because they reinvest earnings to stimulate future growth. This means that companies with high dividend payments might not have enough cash to finance development projects, and their stock price could eventually fall. Companies that pay high and reliable dividends have already matured and have limited opportunities for further expansion.

How to Evaluate The Dividend Payout Ratio (DPR)?

Before buying shares, it is important to research and evaluate key ratios and parameters, such as the dividend payout ratio. Companies do not always disclose their dividend policies, so reading their annual reports is necessary to determine them.

The dividend payout ratio shows the part of a company's earnings after tax (EAT) that is given to shareholders. The dividend policy is measured using the dividend payout ratio (DPR). Refer to this formula:

DPR = dividend per share (DPS) / earnings per share (EPS)

Dividend payments indicate profitability and shareholder trust, providing insight into the company's maturity and goals. Early-stage firms may not pay dividends, reinvesting earnings instead. High dividend payments can be a red flag for investors, implying less cash for development projects and eventually leading to a fall in stock price.

Companies that pay high and reliable dividends have often already matured and have little opportunity for further expansion.

Summing up

Stable dividend policies are popular among companies for distributing earnings to shareholders. This approach provides steady income and predictability to investors, making them more confident in the company.

Companies may change their dividend policy over time due to internal or external factors, so monitoring their payments and payout ratio is crucial to determine stability. Those who want steady income, not just capital appreciation, could look for a stable dividend policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a stable dividend policy example?

Under a stable dividend policy, the percentage of profits given out as dividends is predetermined. For example, if a company's payout rate is fixed at 12%, that proportion of earnings will be paid out, regardless of the number of profits produced during the financial year.

2. What is a stable dividend policy and its merits?

A stable dividend policy means that an investor receives dividends at least once a year, regardless of market fluctuations.

This policy offers several benefits:

It helps maintain the market value of stocks.

It inspires confidence in investors.

It provides a source of income for those investors who rely on dividends to cover their day-to-day expenses.

3. Which type of dividend policy is best?

The most common dividend policy is a stable one that provides a consistent and predictable dividend distribution year after year, regardless of earnings. This is what most investors prefer.

4. What are the types of dividend policy?

There are three types of dividend policies: stable, constant, and residual.

The stable dividend policy is the most common dividend policy, providing a consistent and predictable dividend distribution year after year, regardless of earnings, and is ideal for those looking for a steady income source.

5. How can the stability of dividend policy be maintained?

The corporation pays out a predetermined amount of cash dividends each year. It also establishes a reserve that enables it to pay a fixed dividend even if earnings are low or losses occur.


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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