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Have you ever felt you just knew something to be true, but you couldn't prove it? After careful review of all the theory and scientific evidence regarding the impact of corporate dividend policy, the authors conclude, "the benefit of a managed policy seems to escape theoretical modeling and systematic detection." Nonetheless, managers behave as though they believed dividend policy were important, and investors interpret dividend changes as signals of future profitability. The announcement of dividend changes, even the timing of the announcement, causes predictable changes in share prices and sends messages to the markets, which put a premium on dividend stability and gradual sustainable increases.
The book includes a brief history of the evolution of dividends, statistics on dividends relative to profits and capital investments, their importance as a component of investor total returns, the relationship of dividends to share price, how management makes dividend decisions, and the impact of different tax regulations on dividend policies. Dividend payouts also are contrasted with stock repurchases. It's all here for the corporate manager who sets dividend policy. For the investor, here's everything you ever wanted to know about dividends, and much you never thought to ask. --Scott Harrison