Dividends By The Numbers In August 2020

The U.S. stock market saw continuing improvements for dividend paying firms in August 2020. The number of publicly-traded companies either cutting or suspending dividends declined from July 2020's much improved levels. Meanwhile, the number of firms increasing their dividends increased over the previous month's levels, but remains at levels last seen during the so-called "Great Recession".

The following chart puts August 2020's dividend counts for increasing and decreasing dividends into historical context, with data extending back to January 2004. Please click here to see a large version of the chart.

Number of Public U.S. Firms Increasing or Decreasing Their Dividends Each Month, January 2004 - August 2020

Here is the summary of the U.S. stock market's dividend metadata for the month of August 2020:

  • A total of 3,228 U.S. firms declared dividends in August 2020, an increase of 5 over the 3,223 recorded in July 2020. That figure is also 312 lower than what was recorded a year ago in August 2019.
  • 19 U.S. firms announced they would pay a special (or extra) dividend to their shareholders in August 2020, a decrease of 6 from the number recorded in July 2020 and 15 lower than what was recorded a year ago in August 2019.
  • 81 U.S. firms announced they would boost cash dividend payments to shareholders in August 2020, an increase of 11 over the number recorded in July 2020, and a decrease of 44 from the 125 dividend rises declared back in August 2019.
  • A total of 23 publicly traded companies cut their dividends in August 2020, a decline of 4 from the 27 recorded in July 2020 and also an increase of 3 over the 20 recorded in August 2019.
  • 11 U.S. firms omitted paying their dividends in August 2020, the same as the number recorded in July 2020. That figure is also an increase of 7 over the total recorded in August 2019.

In the next chart, we've focused on the combination of U.S firms that have either cut or suspended their dividends in the period from January 2004 through August 2020. Please click here to see a large version of this chart.

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