Dividends Revisited: An In-Depth Look at the Relationship between Dividends and Earnings
59 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2006
Date Written: March 2006
We find that dividend increases are associated with significant positive shifts in average earnings, while dividend decreases are associated with significant negative shifts in average earnings. Moreover, earnings over the years following dividend increases will be higher than the previous level of dividends, while they will be a lower for most dividend decreases.
This quite robust finding points can be related to managers' well-documented aversion to dividend cuts. Since managers increase dividends when they are reasonably sure that future earnings will be high enough and only reduce dividends when they are forced to do so by the poor prospects of the firm, dividend changes will contain useful information for earnings performance in the medium term.
Keywords: Dividend policy, Managerial Behavior, Average Earnings
JEL Classification: G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation