Financial Terms
Cash dividend

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Definition of Cash dividend

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Cash dividend

A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on
profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in
addition to the dividend.

cash dividend

Payment of cash by the firm to its shareholders.

Related Terms:

Discretionary cash flow

cash flow that is available after the funding of all positive NPV capital investment
projects; it is available for paying cash dividends, repurchasing common stock, retiring debt, and so on.

Dividend limitation

A bond covenant that restricts in some way the firm's ability to pay cash dividends.

Feasible target payout ratios

Payout ratios that are consistent with the availability of excess funds to make
cash dividend payments.

Homemade dividend

Sale of some shares of stock to get cash that would be similar to receiving a cash dividend.

Payout ratio

Generally, the proportion of earnings paid out to the common stockholders as cash dividends.
More specifically, the firm's cash dividend divided by the firm's earnings in the same reporting period.

Stock dividend

Payment of a corporate dividend in the form of stock rather than cash. The stock dividend
may be additional shares in the company, or it may be shares in a subsidiary being spun off to shareholders.
Stock dividends are often used to conserve cash needed to operate the business. Unlike a cash dividend, stock
dividends are not taxed until sold.

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A section on the cash-flow statement that shows how much cash a company raised by selling stocks or bonds this year and how much was paid out for cash dividends and other finance-related obligations.

dividend payout ratio

Computed by dividing cash dividends for the year
by the net income for the year. It’s simply the percent of net income distributed
as cash dividends for the year.

dividend yield ratio

cash dividends paid by a business over the most
recent 12 months (called the trailing 12 months) divided by the current
market price per share of the stock. This ratio is reported in the daily
stock trading tables in the Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers.

stockholders' equity, statement of changes in

Although often considered
a financial statement, this is more in the nature of a supporting schedule
that summarizes in one place various changes in the owners’ equity
accounts of a business during the period—including the issuance and
retirement of capital stock shares, cash dividends, and other transactions
affecting owners’ equity. This statement (schedule) is very helpful
when a business has more than one class of stock shares outstanding
and when a variety of events occurred during the year that changed its
owners’ equity accounts.

NPV (net present value of cash flows)

Same as PV, but usually includes a subtraction for an initial cash outlay.

PV (present value of cash flows)

the value in today’s dollars of cash flows that occur in different time periods.
present value factor equal to the formula 1/(1 - r)n, where n is the number of years from the valuation date to the cash flow and r is the discount rate.
For business valuation, n should usually be midyear, i.e., n = 0.5, 1.5, . . .


The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a company. Usually
includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's Acceptances. cash
equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash budget

A forecasted summary of a firm's expected cash inflows and cash outflows as well as its
expected cash and loan balances.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

Cash and equivalents

The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a
company. Usually includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's
Acceptances. cash equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash commodity

The actual physical commodity, as distinguished from a futures contract.

Cash conversion cycle

The length of time between a firm's purchase of inventory and the receipt of cash
from accounts receivable.

Cash cow

A company that pays out all earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or
division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.

Cash cycle

In general, the time between cash disbursement and cash collection. In net working capital
management, it can be thought of as the operating cycle less the accounts payable payment period.

Cash deficiency agreement

An agreement to invest cash in a project to the extent required to cover any cash
deficiency the project may experience.

Cash delivery

The provision of some futures contracts that requires not delivery of underlying assets but
settlement according to the cash value of the asset.

Cash discount

An incentive offered to purchasers of a firm's product for payment within a specified time
period, such as ten days.

Cash equivalent

A short-term security that is sufficiently liquid that it may be considered the financial
equivalent of cash.

Cash flow

In investments, it represents earnings before depreciation , amortization and non-cash charges.
Sometimes called cash earnings. cash flow from operations (called funds from operations ) by real estate and
other investment trusts is important because it indicates the ability to pay dividends.

Cash flow after interest and taxes

Net income plus depreciation.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

Cash flow from operations

A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net

Cash flow matching

Also called dedicating a portfolio, this is an alternative to multiperiod immunization in
which the manager matches the maturity of each element in the liability stream, working backward from the
last liability to assure all required cash flows.

Cash flow per common share

cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the
number of common shares outstanding.

Cash flow time-line

Line depicting the operating activities and cash flows for a firm over a particular period.

Cash-flow break-even point

The point below which the firm will need either to obtain additional financing
or to liquidate some of its assets to meet its fixed costs.

Cash management bill

Very short maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash
balances are down and it needs money for a few days.

Cash markets

Also called spot markets, these are markets that involve the immediate delivery of a security
or instrument.
Related: derivative markets.

Cash offer

A public equity issue that is sold to all interested investors.

Cash ratio

The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.

Cash settlement contracts

Futures contracts, such as stock index futures, that settle for cash, not involving
the delivery of the underlying.

Cash transaction

A transaction where exchange is immediate, as contrasted to a forward contract, which
calls for future delivery of an asset at an agreed-upon price.

Cash-equivalent items

Temporary investments of currently excess cash in short-term, high-quality
investment media such as treasury bills and Banker's Acceptances.

Cash-surrender value

An amount the insurance company will pay if the policyholder ends a whole life
insurance policy.


Refers to a situation where a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.

Cum dividend

With dividend.

Cumulative dividend feature

A requirement that any missed preferred or preference stock dividends be paid
in full before any common dividend payment is made.

Discounted cash flow (DCF)

Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.

Discounted dividend model (DDM)

A formula to estimate the intrinsic value of a firm by figuring the
present value of all expected future dividends.


A dividend is a portion of a company's profit paid to common and preferred shareholders. A stock
selling for $20 a share with an annual dividend of $1 a share yields the investor 5%.

Dividend clawback

With respect to a project financing, an arrangement under which the sponsors of a project
agree to contribute as equity any prior dividends received from the project to the extent necessary to cover
any cash deficiencies.

Dividend clientele

A group of shareholders who prefer that the firm follow a particular dividend policy. For
example, such a preference is often based on comparable tax situations.

Dividend discount model (DDM)

A model for valuing the common stock of a company, based on the
present value of the expected cash flows.

Dividend growth model

A model wherein dividends are assumed to be at a constant rate in perpetuity.

Dividend payout ratio

Percentage of earnings paid out as dividends.

Dividends per share

Amount of cash paid to shareholders expressed as dollars per share.

Dividend policy

An established guide for the firm to determine the amount of money it will pay as dividends.

Dividend rate

The fixed or floating rate paid on preferred stock based on par value.

Dividend reinvestment plan (DRP)

Automatic reinvestment of shareholder dividends in more shares of a
company's stock, often without commissions. Some plans provide for the purchase of additional shares at a
discount to market price. dividend reinvestment plans allow shareholders to accumulate stock over the Long
term using dollar cost averaging. The DRP is usually administered by the company without charges to the

Dividend rights

A shareholders' rights to receive per-share dividends identical to those other shareholders receive.

Dividend yield (Funds)

Indicated yield represents return on a share of a mutual fund held over the past 12
months. Assumes fund was purchased 1 year ago. Reflects effect of sales charges (at current rates), but not
redemption charges.

Dividend yield (Stocks)

Indicated yield represents annual dividends divided by current stock price.

Dividends per share

dividends paid for the past 12 months divided by the number of common shares
outstanding, as reported by a company. The number of shares often is determined by a weighted average of
shares outstanding over the reporting term.

Equivalent annual cash flow

Annuity with the same net present value as the company's proposed investment.

Expected future cash flows

Projected future cash flows associated with an asset of decision.

Extra or special dividends

A dividend that is paid in addition to a firm's "regular" quarterly dividend.


This literally means "without dividend." The buyer of shares when they are quoted ex-dividend
is not entitled to receive a declared dividend.

Ex-dividend date

The first day of trading when the seller, rather than the buyer, of a stock will be entitled to
the most recently announced dividend payment. This date set by the NYSE (and generally followed on other
US exchanges) is currently two business days before the record date. A stock that has gone ex-dividend is
marked with an x in newspaper listings on that date.

Free cash flows

cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before
interest (often obtained from operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the
change in working capital.

General cash offer

A public offering made to investors at large.

Incremental cash flows

Difference between the firm's cash flows with and without a project.

Indicated dividend

Total amount of dividends that would be paid on a share of stock over the next 12 months
if each dividend were the same amount as the most recent dividend. Usually represent by the letter "e" in
stock tables.

Ledger cash

A firm's cash balance as reported in its financial statements. Also called book cash.

Liquidating dividend

Payment by a firm to its owners from capital rather than from earnings.

Net cash balance

Beginning cash balance plus cash receipts minus cash disbursements.

Nominal cash flow

A cash flow expressed in nominal terms if the actual dollars to be received or paid out are given.

Noncash charge

A cost, such as depreciation, depletion, and amortization, that does not involve any cash outflow.

Operating cash flow

Earnings before depreciation minus taxes. It measures the cash generated from
operations, not counting capital spending or working capital requirements.

Perfect market view (of dividend policy)

Analysis of a decision on dividend policy, in a perfect capital
market environment, that shows the irrelevance of dividend policy in a perfect capital market.

Real cash flow

A cash flow is expressed in real terms if the current, or date 0, purchasing power of the cash
flow is given.

Residual dividend approach

An approach that suggests that a firm pay dividends if and only if acceptable
investment opportunities for those funds are currently unavailable.

Scheduled cash flows

The mortgage principal and interest payments due to be paid under the terms of the
mortgage not including possible prepayments.

Signaling view (on dividend policy)

The argument that dividend changes are important signals to investors
about changes in management's expectation about future earnings.

Special dividend

Also referred to as an extra dividend. dividend that is unlikely to be repeated.

Statement of cash flows

A financial statement showing a firm's cash receipts and cash payments during a
specified period.

Statement-of-cash-flows method

A method of cash budgeting that is organized along the lines of the statement of cash flows.

Symmetric cash matching

An extension of cash flow matching that allows for the short-term borrowing of
funds to satisfy a liability prior to the liability due date, resulting in a reduction in the cost of funding liabilities.

Target cash balance

Optimal amount of cash for a firm to hold, considering the trade-off between the
opportunity costs of holding too much cash and the trading costs of holding too little cash.

Tax differential view ( of dividend policy)

The view that shareholders prefer capital gains over dividends,
and hence low payout ratios, because capital gains are effectively taxed at lower rates than dividends.

Traditional view (of dividend policy)

An argument that "within reason," investors prefer large dividends to
smaller dividends because the dividend is sure but future capital gains are uncertain.

Wanted for cash

A statement displayed on market tickers indicating that a bidder will pay cash for same day
settlement of a block of a specified security.

With dividend

Purchase of shares in which the buyer is entitled to the forthcoming dividend. Related: exdividend.


The balance in a company’s checking account(s) plus short-term or temporary investments (sometimes called “marketable securities”), which are highly liquid.


A statement that shows where a company’s cash came from and where it went for a period of time, such as a year.


A section on the cashflow statement that shows how much cash came in and went out because of various investing activities like purchasing machinery.


A section on the cash-flow Stockholders’ equity statement that shows how much cash came into a company and how much went out during the normal course of business.


A payment a company makes to stockholders. Earnings before income tax. The profit a company made
before income taxes.

Cash accounting

A method of accounting in which profit is calculated as the difference between income
when it is received and expenses when they are paid.

Cash cost

The amount of cash expended.

Cash Flow statement

A financial report that shows the movement in cash for a business during an accounting period.

Cash value added (CVA)

A method of investment appraisal that calculates the ratio of the net present value of an
investment to the initial capital investment.

Discounted cash flow (DCF)

A method of investment appraisal that discounts future cash flows to present value using a discount rate, which is the risk-adjusted cost of capital.







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