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Dividend Bull Case Deflates as Payouts Rise Least Since 2010

  • CEOs scaling back a key ownership perk amid profit decline
  • Number of reductions will more than double to 22 this year
Updated on

The biggest expansion of U.S. stock dividends in eight decades is slowing to a crawl.

Payouts by companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are poised to rise about 5 percent in the fourth quarter, the smallest increase since they plummeted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, data compiled by Bloomberg and S&P Dow Jones Indices show. With earnings and revenue declining, chief executive officers are scaling back a key perk of ownership that has supported American equities for the last six years.