Dividends in Q2 rose from the first quarter by $12.6B, but the growth lagged that of a year ago when they increased $17.6B, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The number of firms boosting payouts in Q2 was 696 vs. just 591 a year ago.
“The good news is that the number of dividend increases was strong again in Q2, as the 696 increases were the most since 1979,” says the group's Howard Silverblatt. “The bad news is that the growth rate of actual aggregate cash payments has slowed, even as dividends continue to set record payments.”
Among the S&P 500, 84.4% of firms currently pay a dividend, the most since September 1998, while all 30 of the DJIA pay a dividend.