Dividends By The Numbers In November 2020

Like the month that preceded it, November 2020 was a strong month for dividend-paying stocks in the U.S. stock market.

In the year of the coronavirus recession, however, that strength is a relative measure. Compared to previous months, the market appears strong. Compared to a year ago, the market looks like its been whacked, which in truth, it has.

Both observations for November 2020 can be seen in a chart tracking the number of dividend increases and reductions announced in each month since January 2004.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Number of Publicly-Traded U.S. Companies Either Increasing or Decreasing Their Dividends Each Month, January 2004 - November 2020

Here's our tally of the U.S. stock market's dividend metadata for November 2020:

  • A total of 3,125 U.S. firms declared dividends in November 2020, an increase of 93 over the 3,032 recorded in October 2020. That figure is 248 lower than what was recorded a year ago in November 2019.
  • 78 U.S. firms announced they would pay a special (or extra) dividend to their shareholders in November 2020, an increase of 45 over the number recorded in October 2020 and an increase of one over the number recorded a year ago in November 2019. This figure typically peaks in December each year, but that peak is often conditional on investor expectations for the U.S. government's future tax policy.
  • 125 U.S. firms announced they would boost cash dividend payments to shareholders in November 2020, a decrease of 60 from the 185 recorded in October 2020, and a decrease of 25 from the 150 dividend rises declared back in November 2019.
  • A total of 15 publicly traded companies cut their dividends in November 2020, an increase of 2 over the number recorded in October 2020 and also a decrease of 9 from the 24 recorded in November 2019.
  • Just one U.S. firm omitted paying their dividends in November 2020, the same as the number recorded in October 2020. That figure is also a decrease of three from the total of four firms that omitted paying dividends back in November 2019.
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