Dividends By The Numbers In January 2023

2023 got off to a rocky start for dividend-paying stocks in the U.S. stock market. The number of firms announcing dividend reductions jumped back above the threshold indicating recessionary conditions are present in the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the number of dividend increases announced during January 2023 presents a more mixed picture, up month over month, but down year over year.

These changes are visualized in the following chart.

Number of Public U.S. Firms Increasing or Decreasing Their Dividends Each Month, January 2004 through January 2023

With the new year, we're revamping how we present the U.S. stock market's monthly dividend metadata. The following table presents the data for the just-completed month of January 2023, the preceding month of December 2022, and the year-ago month of January 2022. We've also presented the Month-over-Month (MoM) and Year-over-Year (YoY) changes for January 2023's dividend metadata:

Dividend Changes in January 2023
   Jan-2023  Dec-2022    MoM  Jan-2022    YoY
Total Declarations 3,127 5,528 -2,401 ↓ 2,224 903 ↑
Favorable 221 281 -60 ↓ 264 -43 ↓
- Increases 168 144 24 ↑ 198 -30 ↓
- Special/Extra 48 135 -87 ↓ 59 -11 ↓
- Resumed 5 2 3 ↑ 7 -2 ↓
Unfavorable 65 31 34 ↑ 17 48 ↑
- Decreases 65 31 34 ↑ 17 48 ↑
- Omitted/Passed 0 0 0 ↔ 0 0 ↔

Our sampling of dividend decreases only captured 13 of the 65 reported dividend reductions. They are predominantly concentrated in the U.S. oil and gas sector among firms that pay variable dividends to their shareholding owners. These firms have made frequent appearances in recent months, coinciding with the ~35% decline in the price of crude oil from early June through December 2022. Dividend reductions most often represent a mildly lagging indicator for declining business conditions, so their appearance in January 2023 is not unexpected.

Here's the list for our sampling, where we also find industrial representation from the real estate and financial services sectors of the economy.

Going back to the dividend metadata, we're surprised we're not seeing more firms being recorded as omitting (or suspending) their dividend payments to shareholders. We suspect Standard and Poor is including them with the number of dividends decreases they report. That makes sense since both dividend cuts and omissions count as unfavorable changes, which we're now tracking in our monthly dividend metadata summary.


Standard and Poor. S&P Market Attributes Web File. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 1 February 2023.

More By This Author:

Median Household Income In December 2022
Recession Probability Nearing 50%
The S&P 500 Rises As Index' Dividend Outlook Improves

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