A stock’s dividend yield is important information for investors who want an income stream or extra money to reinvest. The yield represents a stock’s annual dividends per share as a percentage of its price. The higher the percentage, the more dividends you get per dollar of stock. Many lists of stocks, such as lists found in newspapers, report dividend yields. Such lists typically show one stock per row and include yields, prices and other data in columns. If a list excludes dividend yields and reports only dividends, you can calculate the yield manually.
Locate a company’s name or stock ticker symbol in the “Name/Symbol” column of the stock list. A ticker symbol contains one or more capital letters that are typically an abbreviation of the company’s name or something related to its business. For example, a hypothetical company that makes electronic dog collars might have the ticker symbol “DOGS.”Step 2
Find the “Yld” or similarly-named column on the list. Identify the number in that column in the same row of the stock to determine the stock’s dividend yield as a percentage. In this example, if the list shows “4” in the yield column in the same row as your stock, the stock has a 4 percent dividend yield.Step 3
Find the “Div” or similar column. Identify the number in that column next to the stock to determine the annual dividend in dollars. This amount typically equals the company’s most recent quarterly dividend times four. In this example, if the dividend column shows “0.60,” the stock pays 60 cents in annual dividends, or 15 cents per quarter. Because the yield is 4 percent, the 60 cents in dividends is 4 percent of the stock’s price.Step 4
Identify the number in the “Close” or “Last” column to determine the stock’s price at the end of the most recent trading day. In this example, assume the stock’s price is $15.Step 5
Divide the annual dividend by the stock’s price and multiply by 100 to calculate the dividend yield as a percentage. Do this only if the list of stocks does not report a dividend yield. Concluding the example, divide $0.60 by $15 to get 0.04. Multiply 0.04 by 100 to get a 4 percent dividend yield.
- If the yield or dividend column is blank for a particular stock, the stock does not pay a dividend and has no yield.
- A stock’s dividend yield changes with its price. Because the yield on a list of stocks is based on the last closing price, it will likely differ from the yield based on today’s price.
- If a company chooses to reduce or eliminate its dividend, its yield will also decrease.