Dividend Payments Jumped by $26.5 Billion in 2010 Investing in dividend stocks generated major returns for investors in 2010 as U.S. companies added $26.5 billion to dividend payments, with $8 billion of that increased payout coming in the fourth quarter. The rise in dividend payments is seen as a strong indication that companies are indeed recovering from the dismal economic environment of the last two years, and analysts at Standard & Poor's expect that the trend will continue in 2011, providing a windfall to investors that could lift equity markets higher.

For the year, S&P reported that 1,729 companies increased dividend payments, compared to 1,191 companies recording increases in 2009. Only 145 companies decreased dividend payments in 2010, versus the 804 that did so in 2009. The result was this year's net gain, a far cry from the the net decline of $42.4 billion in dividends in 2009.

"Dividend investors hit the trifecta in 2010," said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Indices, in a statement Thursday. "Dividend increases were up 45%, decreases declined 82%, and best of all, the forward indicated dividend rate increased over 8%, implying a much better year for dividend income in 2011."

Investors have benefited significantly from dividend increases thanks to the qualified dividend tax cuts that have been in effect from 2003 through 2010. Silverblatt estimates that investors saved $274 billion in taxes on dividend income during that period, and he predicts an additional dividend tax-break windfall this year.

"The two-year extension of the lower dividend tax rate will add another $74 billion directly into the hands of investors, with a portion of it going back into the market via reinvestment programs, thereby supporting stock prices."

Silverblatt said as the economy improves in 2011, he expects more companies to increase dividends as the rate of dividend decreases declines further.

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Iselin007

The secret to a good pizza is a hot oven an there is no secret to where the ouitsourcers should go.

January 07 2011 at 8:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

You trashed our educations, our skill's, our learned experiences, and wasted our working lives so you must compensate us

January 07 2011 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

You stole our lively hoods now you must pay !

January 07 2011 at 8:38 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

The profit's from outsourcing should be taxed at 99%

January 07 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Shouldn't some of this money be put in a special fund for 99ERs?

January 07 2011 at 8:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kingsover07

Great news and more money in the pockets of everyone that is invested in Mutal Funds including most pension plans !!!!!!!!!!!

January 06 2011 at 9:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kingsover07's comment
inyerfaace

you truly believe this stuff or simply being sarcastic ? stock market=fraud street and is rigged just like the NFL .

January 07 2011 at 3:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
g974

Yeah, companies are rewarding their stockholders with more dividends so they will be hiring more, right? They are hiring all right, in India, China or any number of third world $***holes and NOT here in America. The Republican party sent most of the good paying jobs out of the country beginning with prune-face Reagan in the 80's and the public is stupid enough to put them back in office. Lincoln was right, you CAN fool some of the people all of the time!

January 06 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to g974's comment
savemycountry911

Republicans say no to uncontrolled spending and irresponsibility

January 06 2011 at 8:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pinkturkeybull

The little guy is shovel ready

January 06 2011 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to pinkturkeybull's comment
tom

The republicans have said no for the last 2 years...

January 06 2011 at 5:57 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
inyerfaace

damn right the republicans said no and the diM MAJORITY said yes,and here we are trillions in debT.

January 07 2011 at 3:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tom

Being a retired blue collar union worker doing very nicely on ups retirement and stock we got from the company, I am amazed at the way wallstreet is blaming the public sector for all the economic troubles. Pitting the private sector, whose wages have been stagnant for 20 years, except those small fraction still in a union, against the public sector. Anybody notice how ceo’s, stock holders, and wallstreet have really flourished? Wonder where the money went? It was trickle up economics, and now America will be told more bull about austerity as social security is cut, medicare cut, and the wealthiest have a tax break, with 51 million of the working poor have thier taxes increased.. Geez, wake up America.Obamas choice for Daley for chief of staff, a man who helped get nafta passed,makes me think Obama surrounding himself with wall street insiders makes Obama look like the republican manchurian candidate!

January 06 2011 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tom's comment
bdyftns

And the biggest contributors to the Republican Party was the Healtch Care sector and the rich who wanted to keep the Bush taxes to drive the middle into poverty and continue to drive the National Debt up.

January 07 2011 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply