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Dividends Per Share

Decoding Dividends per Share (DPS): A Comprehensive Financial Glossary Guide

Compact Explanation

Dividends per Share (DPS) is the total dividends paid out per share of stock.


Dividends per Share (DPS) is a key financial term that plays an essential role in a company's financial health and investment attractiveness. This guide will provide an in-depth look at the DPS and its criticality in financial analysis.

Calculation of financial term 'Dividends per Share'


Dividends per Share (DPS) is the total dividends paid out by a company over an accounting period divided by the number of outstanding shares. In simpler terms, it indicates how much cash an investor could potentially receive for each share of stock they own if the company distributes all of its dividends.

Context and Use

DPS is a crucial figure for income-focused investors, such as retirees, who rely on regular income from their investments. It's also important for any investor looking to understand a company's profitability and how that profitability is shared with shareholders.

Detailed Explanation

The formula for calculating DPS is straightforward:

Dividends per Share = Total Dividends Paid / Outstanding Shares

  • Total Dividends Paid: This is the sum of all cash dividends distributed to shareholders over a specific period, typically a fiscal year.

  • Outstanding Shares: These are the shares that have been issued by the company and are held by investors.

It's important to remember that DPS only considers cash dividends and does not account for other forms of return like stock dividends or share buybacks.

The DPS offers investors a useful insight into the company's profit allocation. A company that consistently grows its DPS over time can be seen as a profitable and financially stable entity. Conversely, a falling DPS may raise questions about the company's profitability or its financial strategy.


For instance, if a company paid out $5 million in cash dividends in a fiscal year and has 1 million outstanding shares, the DPS would be:

DPS = $5 million / 1 million = $5

This means that each share is associated with $5 in dividends.

Related Terms

  • Dividend Yield: This is a financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its stock price.

  • Earnings per Share (EPS): This is the portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.

Dividends per Share

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Is a higher DPS always better? A: Not necessarily. While a higher DPS can indicate a profitable company, it could also mean the company isn't reinvesting its earnings into growth. Investors should consider DPS alongside other indicators like the payout ratio and the company's growth rate.

Q2: Can DPS change? A: Yes, DPS can change based on the company's profits and strategic decisions. If a company's profits decline, it may choose to lower the DPS. Similarly, if profits increase, the company might raise the DPS.

Q3: How is DPS related to dividend yield? A: The dividend yield is calculated by dividing the DPS by the current market price of the company's stock. It provides a measure of the company's annual dividend in terms of a percentage of the stock price.

Q4: What's the difference between dividends per share and earnings per share? A: While both metrics pertain to how much a company returns to its shareholders, they're different. Earnings per Share (EPS) refers to a company's net income per outstanding share, while DPS pertains to the portion of the company's earnings that is paid out as dividends.

Q5: Does every company pay dividends? A: No, not all companies pay dividends. Some prefer to reinvest all profits back into the business to fuel growth, especially those in the growth or expansion phase.

Q6: Can a company have a negative DPS? A: No, a company cannot have a negative DPS. If a company doesn't pay dividends, the DPS will be zero.


Understanding the concept of Dividends per Share (DPS) is crucial for any investor interested in the income generation potential of their investments. DPS provides insights into a company's profitability, its ability to share this profitability with shareholders, and its financial strategies.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Always seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.