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Dividend Yield

The dividend yield measures the income you earn from holding a stock. When a company makes a profit, it has two choices. First, it can retain the earnings for future investment. Second, it can payout those earnings to its shareholders. Most firms do a combination of both. This means they retain a portion of earnings, and payout the rest to shareholders.

The dividend yield is the percentage return from dividend payouts that a shareholder earns. For example, if a stock has a dividend yield of 5%, it means you'll receive 5 rupees in dividends for every 100 rupees worth of shares owned.

Typically, large and stable firms tend to pay higher dividends. A mature company does not require high levels of cash for future growth or expansion. Think of your typical blue chip stock. Smaller firms that require cash for expansion tend to retain most of their earnings.

Stocks that pay a high dividend yield are perceived to be safer than stocks that don't. This is true in the sense that high dividend yield stocks tend to be large and stable companies. However, it isn't the dividend that makes them safe. Rather, they pay good dividends because they are safe. If you are looking for stocks that generate regular income, then high dividend yield stocks are what you want.

Do keep in mind that dividends are only a portion of a stock's return. The remainder of the return comes from movements in the stock price, i.e. the capital gain. Generally, capital gains form a larger share of the overall return, even for high dividend yield stocks.

The Dividend Yield Formula

The dividend yield is the dividend per share divided by the market price per share. The market price per share is simply the stock price.The dividend per share comes from the most recent income statement. We multiply by 100% and report in percentage terms.

Dividend Yield = 100% * (dividend per share / market price per share)

Calculating the Dividend Yield, An Example

Suppose Bajaj Auto's current stock price is Rs 3,135. And their most recent dividend per share is Rs 55. Using our formula gives us a dividend yield of 1.75%.

Bajaj Auto dividend yield = 100% * (Rs 55 / Rs 3,135) = 1.75%

Comparing Dividend Yield with Other Indicators

How does the dividend yield compare to other indicators, such as fixed deposit yield or earnings yield? The yield on a fixed deposit is simply the return from owning a fixed deposit. It is a safe and guaranteed rate of return. If you are investing in stocks, which are risky, you should expect to earn above this rate. Now, dividend yield is not enough to determine a stock's expected rate of return. For many stocks, the dividend yield is below the fixed deposit rate. This is because a stock's expected return also consists of capital gains. And companies may also retain a significant portion of their earnings.

The earnings yield is the earnings per share divided by the market price per share. Recall that a company retains a portion of its earnings, and pays the rest as dividends. This means the earnings yield is generally higher than the dividend yield. Occasionally, it is possible for the company to payout a dividend larger than their earnings if they draw on previously retained earnings. But this is uncommon. The earnings yield is often a better measure of what a stock is worth. Most analysts tend to forecast future earnings when valuing a company. Dividends are more discretionary, since a firm can decide what portion of its earnings to payout as dividends.

Occasionally, a company may decided not to pay dividends. This could occur if they were loss making, or are planning a large expansion. Anytime a company makes a significant change in their dividends, it should be investigated.

India's Most Attractive Companies Based on Dividend Yield

In this live data section, you can find the stocks with the most attractive dividend yield.

SCRIP* DIVIDEND YIELD(%) GET MORE INFO
CLARIANT CHEMICALS 23.3  More Info 
NOIDA TOLL BRIDGE 23.3  More Info 
HIMACHAL FUTURISTIC 23.0  More Info 
AURIONPRO SOLN 20.8  More Info 
HINDUSTAN ZINC 10.1  More Info 
SONATA SOFTWARE 8.7  More Info 
COAL INDIA 7.4  More Info 
VEDANTA LTD 6.8  More Info 
ATUL AUTO 6.3  More Info 
RURAL ELECT. 5.9  More Info 

The Stock Screener runs on Equitymaster's own database, which comprises India's leading 578 companies.
*Data is consolidated wherever applicable

>>  Here's the full list of India's most attractively valued companies


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