Business & Finance Stocks-Mutual-Funds

How to Calculate Return Rate on Dividends

    • 1). Locate the investor information page for the specific investment. Public companies have an investor-relations page somewhere on the company's website. The investor relations link can usually be found at the very top or bottom of the website home page. Mutual funds and ETFs also have web pages that provide investor information; typically, find information by clicking on the home page of the fund family or sponsor.

    • 2). Determine the frequency of dividend payments for the specific investment. Dividend-paying stocks and stock funds often pay quarterly dividends. Bond and income funds may pay monthly distributions.

    • 3). Locate the dividend or distribution history page on the company or fund website. There will be a link on the investor information page, usually titled "dividend history" for stocks and "distributions" for funds. Other possible link locations are stock information or performance.

    • 4). Add together the last year's worth of dividend payments. If the payout frequency is quarterly, use the last four dividends. If the payout is monthly, the last 12 dividends will be totaled.

    • 5). Divide the previous year worth of dividend by the current share price and multiply times 100. The result will be the dividend return rate expressed as a percentage. For example, in November 2010, the Johnson & Johnson Company (JNJ), had paid a total of $2.11 for the last four dividends. The current share price was $63.14. According to the above formula, this results in a dividend rate of 3.34 percent.

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