Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

S&P 500 Dividend Payers Climb to Highest in 12 Years

S&P 500 Dividend Payers Climb to Highest in 12 Years, S&P Says
An Apple retail store in Hong Kong. Photographer: Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- More Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies are paying dividends than at any time since January 2000 after Apple Inc., Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and six other corporations initiated payouts this year.

The number has risen to 401, according to data compiled by Howard Silverblatt, S&P’s senior index analyst. His estimate for total payouts this year, which Silverblatt said is under review, is a record $279 billion.

Nasdaq OMX, the second-biggest U.S. operator of stock exchanges, announced its first dividend yesterday. Apple, the world’s biggest company by market value, unveiled one in March after canceling its program in 1996. Exxon Mobil Corp. increased its dividend yesterday for the 30th straight year, making its $10.7 billion annual distribution the largest in the world, according to Silverblatt.

Companies are increasing shareholder returns in the form of dividends and buybacks after the 2008 financial crisis led them to hoard cash to a record $1 trillion by the end of 2011. The rise in payouts coincides with a 13th quarter of better-than-estimated earnings.

“Given underlying fundamentals, low payouts and cash reserves, 2012 should set a record high for cash dividend payments,” Silverblatt wrote in an e-mail today.

S&P 500 companies distributed a record $248 billion in cash to shareholders in 2008, when 372 companies paid dividends, according to his report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney Kisling in New York at wkisling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.