Important Dividend dates

A break down of important dividends and the shareholders that qualify for payment.

When it comes to dividend-paying stocks investors should be aware of the different dividend dates. These dates will not only tell an investor when a dividend may be scheduled but also whether they are eligible for the dividend payment.

With any earnings retained a company may decide to pay a dividend to its shareholders. They will typically be paid via cash although sometimes can be in form of stock or other property, it is calculated on a per-share basis and the amount will be equal across all shareholders. The dividend amount and date payable will be determined by the board of directors as well as whether it should be paid through the use of the company's current or previous years profits. The frequency of dividends being paid can vary from every one, three, six, or twelve months, some company's may also pay Special Dividends which are non recurring forms of payment.

The following key dates sorted in chronological order are associated with the various stages of a dividend from start to finish.

Declaration Date - This is the date on which a companys board of directors announce a dividend payment to be paid to its shareholders. It is also here where the record date and payment date are declared. As the dividend has now been officially authorized by a companys board of directors, a Dividends Payable liability is also created. Here a credit is recorded to the Dividends Payable account and a debit to the retained profits account. This remains as a Current Liability until the Dividend has been paid, at which point the Dividends Payable account is debited and then the Cash account credited.

Ex-Dividend Date -

Record Date -

Payment Date -

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