What It Is and How It Works, With Example

What Is a Inventory Dividend?

A inventory dividend is a cost to shareholders that consists of further shares slightly than money.

The distributions are paid in fractions per present share. For instance, if an organization points a inventory dividend of 5%, it should pay 0.05 shares for each share owned by a shareholder. The proprietor of 100 shares would get 5 further shares.

Key Takeaways

  • A inventory dividend is a dividend paid to shareholders within the type of further shares within the firm.
  • Inventory dividends will not be taxed till the shares are offered by their proprietor.
  • Like inventory splits, inventory dividends dilute the share worth as a result of further shares have been issued.
  • They don’t have an effect on the worth of the corporate.
  • An organization might want to pay dividends in inventory slightly than money as a way to protect its money reserves.

How a Inventory Dividend Works

Often known as a scrip dividend, a inventory dividend could also be paid out when an organization desires to reward its traders however both does not have the spare money or prefers to protect it for different makes use of. The inventory dividend has the benefit of rewarding shareholders with out decreasing the corporate’s money stability.

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Inventory dividends have a tax benefit for the investor as properly. Like several inventory shares, inventory dividends will not be taxed till the investor sells the shares.

A inventory dividend might require that the newly obtained shares not be offered for a sure interval. This holding interval on a inventory dividend usually begins the day after it’s obtained.

Dilution Impact

The board of a public firm might approve a 5% inventory dividend. That offers present traders one further share of firm inventory for each 20 shares they presently personal. Nonetheless, because of this the pool of obtainable inventory shares within the firm will increase by 5%, diluting the worth of present shares.

An investor who owned 100 shares in an organization will personal 105 shares as soon as the dividend is executed, however the whole market worth of these shares stays the identical. On this manner, a inventory dividend is just like a inventory break up.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Inventory Dividends

From the investor’s viewpoint, there’s little speedy reward in receiving inventory dividends. Then once more, there is no tax due till the extra shares are offered.

Issuing share dividends lowers the worth of the inventory, no less than within the quick time period. A lower-priced inventory tends to draw extra consumers, so present shareholders are more likely to get their reward down the street. Or, they will promote the extra shares instantly, pocket the money, and nonetheless retain the identical variety of shares they’d earlier than.

A public firm just isn’t required to challenge dividends in any respect. Nonetheless, it isn’t look for a corporation to abruptly cease paying dividends or pay a decrease dividend than it has previously.

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For the corporate, a inventory dividend is a pain-free method to challenge dividends with out depleting its money reserves.

Professionals and Cons for Corporations and Traders


  • Firm’s money stability stays the identical

  • Lower in share worth might appeal to new traders

  • Traders don’t owe tax on these dividends till the inventory is offered


  • Bonus shares dilute the share worth

  • Inventory dividends might sign the corporate’s monetary instability

  • Much less money revenue for the investor

Journal Entry: Small and Giant Inventory Dividends

When a inventory dividend is issued, the overall worth of fairness stays the identical from each the investor’s perspective and the corporate’s perspective.

All inventory dividends require an accounting journal entry for the corporate issuing the dividend. This entry transfers the worth of the issued inventory from the retained earnings account to the paid-in capital account.

Small Inventory Dividend Accounting

A inventory dividend is taken into account small if the shares issued are lower than 25% of the overall worth of shares excellent earlier than the dividend. A journal entry for a small inventory dividend transfers the market worth of the issued shares from retained earnings to paid-in capital.

Firm X declares a ten% inventory dividend on its 500,000 shares of widespread inventory. Its widespread inventory has a par worth of $1 per share and a market worth of $5 per share.

When the small inventory dividend is said, the market worth of $5 per share is used to assign the worth to the dividend as $250,000 (500,000 x 10% x $5). The widespread inventory dividend distributable is $50,000 (500,000 x 10% x $1) because the widespread inventory has a par worth of $1 per share.

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 Account  Debit  Credit score
 Inventory dividends  250,000  
 Frequent inventory dividend distributable    50,000
 Paid-in capital in extra of par-common inventory    200,000

When the corporate distributes the inventory dividend it could make the journal entry:

 Account Debit Credit score
 Frequent inventory dividend distributable  50,000  
 Frequent Inventory    50,000

Giant Inventory Dividend Accounting

Giant inventory dividends are these by which the brand new shares issued are greater than 25% of the worth of the overall shares excellent earlier than the dividend. On this case, the journal entry transfers the par worth of the issued shares from retained earnings to paid-in capital.

If Firm X declares a 30% inventory dividend as an alternative of 10%, the worth assigned to the dividend can be the par worth of $1 per share as it’s thought-about a big inventory dividend and would make the next journal entry of $150,000 (500,000 x 30% x $1) by utilizing the par worth, as an alternative of the market worth.

 Account Debit Credit score
 Inventory Dividends  150,000  
 Frequent inventory dividend distributable    150,000

What Is an Instance of a Inventory Dividend?

If an organization points a 5% inventory dividend, it might enhance the variety of shares held by shareholders by 5%, or one share for each 20 shares owned. If there are a million shares in an organization excellent, this might translate into a further 50,000 shares. A shareholder with 100 shares within the firm would obtain 5 further shares.

Not like a money dividend, a inventory dividend doesn’t enhance the worth of the corporate. If the corporate was priced at $10 per share, the worth of the corporate can be $10 million. After the inventory dividend, the worth will stay the identical, however the share worth will lower to $9.50 to regulate for the dividend payout.

Why Do Corporations Difficulty Inventory Dividends?

An organization might challenge a inventory dividend slightly than money if it does not wish to deplete its money reserves.

Dividends, whether or not in money or in inventory, are the shareholders’ lower of the corporate’s revenue. Additionally they are a reward for holding the inventory slightly than promoting it.

Corporations determine whether or not to challenge a dividend and the way a lot it will likely be, primarily based on the dimensions of their earnings.

In recent times, many fast-growing firms have not paid dividends in any respect. Their fast-growing inventory costs are all of the reward that their traders demand.

Different firms are touted as “dividend aristocrats.” They all the time pay dividends they usually have a tendency to extend the dimensions of their dividends over time.

What Is the Distinction Between a Inventory Dividend and a Money Dividend?

A inventory dividend is paid out within the type of firm shares. The inventory dividend just isn’t taxable till the shares are offered.

A money dividend is paid out as money. It is taxable for that 12 months. The corporate will ship you a 1099-DIV type on the finish of the 12 months.

A  firm that has a 7% annual inventory dividend would pay the proprietor of 100 shares seven further shares. If the corporate had as an alternative supplied a $0.70 annual money dividend per share, the proprietor of 100 shares would obtain $70 in dividends for the 12 months.

Is a Inventory Dividend a Good or Dangerous Factor?

Dividends are all the time factor, whether or not they’re in shares or in money.

Nonetheless, when you’re shopping for dividend-paying shares as a way to create an everyday supply of revenue, you would favor to get the money.

In case your objective is regular revenue, you would possibly look to spend money on one of many so-called dividend aristocrats. These are secure, profitable firms which have a protracted historical past of paying money dividends and growing the dimensions of the dividends over time.

Most are mature firms which are previous their quickest development durations. However when you’re holding them for revenue slightly than buying and selling them, that will not matter to you.

There are also a variety of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which are benchmarked to the S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index.

What Is a Good Dividend Yield?

A dividend-paying inventory typically pays in a variety of two% to five% yearly, whether or not in money or in shares. Dividend aristocrats are on the increased finish of that scale.

While you take a look at a inventory itemizing on-line, verify the “dividend yield” line to search out out what the corporate is presently paying out.

The Backside Line

A inventory dividend is a cost to shareholders that’s made in further shares as an alternative of money.

The inventory dividend rewards shareholders with out decreasing the corporate’s money stability. It has the adversarial impact of diluting earnings per share.

Inventory dividends might sign monetary instability, or no less than restricted money reserves.

For the investor, inventory dividends supply no speedy payoff however might enhance in worth in time.

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  1. Inner Income Service. “Publication 550: Funding Earnings and Bills,” Web page 22.

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