July 2019 was a down month for dividend payers in the U.S. stock market. Compared to the previous month, it appears mixed mainly because June is typically among the slowest months of the year for firms declaring dividends. But it pales in comparison to what was recorded a year earlier, in July 2018, with fewer firms raising their cash payouts to shareholders and more firms announcing dividend cuts.
Let's run through the dividend metadata for July 2018....
- 3,123 U.S. firms declared dividends in July 2019, a decrease of 838 from the 3,961 recorded in June 2019. That figure is also 130 lower than July 2018's total of 3,253.
- 25 U.S. firms announced they would pay a special (or extra) dividend to their shareholders in July 2019, a decrease of 4 from the number recorded in June 2019 and an increase of 3 over the total recorded in July 2018.
- 139 U.S. firms announced they would boost cash dividend payments to shareholders in July 2019, an increase of 69 over the number recorded in June 2019, and a decrease of 35 from the 174 dividend rises declared back in July 2018.
- A total of 31 publicly traded companies cut their dividends in July 2019, an increase of 17 over the number recorded in June 2019 and also an increase of 8 over the 23 recorded in July 2018.
- 2 U.S. firms omitted paying their dividends in July 2019, an increase of 1 over the number recorded in June 2019. That figure is also an increase of 2 over the total recorded in July 2018.
The following chart shows the monthly increases and decreases for dividends reported by Standard & Poor's for each month from January 2004 through July 2019.
We'll take a closer look at which sectors of the economy are feeling distress later this month, when we have a larger sampling from our near real-time sources for dividend declarations. If you would rather not wait, we've linked to our references below....
Standard and Poor. S&P Market Attributes Web File. [Excel Spreadsheet]. 31 July 2019.
Seeking Alpha Market Currents. Filtered for Dividends. [Online Database]. Accessed 31 July 2019.
Wall Street Journal. Dividend Declarations. [Online Database]. Accessed 31 July 2019.
Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.