Corporate Payout Policy in Australia and a Test of the Life-Cycle Theory
Australian School of Business
Caitlin M. S. Ruddock
University of New South Wales (UNSW) - School of Accounting
Accounting & Finance, Vol. 51, Issue 2, pp. 381-407, 2011
We provide evidence on the frequency and size of payouts by Australian firms, and test whether the life-cycle theory explains Australian corporate payout policies. Regular dividends remain the most popular mechanism for distributing cash to shareholders, despite a slight decline in the proportion of dividend payers since the relaxation of buyback regulations in 1998. Off-market share buybacks return the largest amount of cash to shareholders. Dividend paying firms are larger, more profitable and have less growth options that nondividend paying firms. Consistent with the life-cycle theory, we observe a highly significant relation between the decision to pay regular dividends and the proportion of shareholders equity that is earned rather than contributed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Dividends, Buybacks, Payout policy, Life-cycle theory
JEL Classification: G35, G32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 4, 2011
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