Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the index provider, announced yesterday that a record low companies increased their dividend during the second quarter of 2009.
Of the 7,000 publicly owned companies that report dividend information to S&Ps Dividend Record, just 233 increased their dividend payment during the quarter.
This represents a 48.8% drop from the 455 issues that increased their dividend during the second quarter of 2008. Dividend decreases were also posted by 250 issues during the second quarter of 2009the highest number since the second quarter of 1957.
In the S&P 500 index of Americas leading stocks, 2009 has seen 55 dividend decreases and 10 suspensions. S&P statistics suggest that the actual payment of dividends for the index in the second quarter will be down 23%, with the third quarter expected to be slightly worse.
The outlook for the fourth quarter depends on the economy, with S&Ps analysts saying if they do not see positive signs, then more cuts are likely.
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