Dividend Policy: Its Impact on Firm Value

Lease, Ronald C., John, Kose, Kalay, Avner, Loewenstein, Uri, Sarig, Oded H.

Published by Oxford University Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 0875844979 / ISBN 13: 9780875844978
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Synopsis: This authoritative guide--the only in-depth survey of dividend policy--challenges the belief that corporate executives and financial analysts should dismiss dividend policy as irrelevant to shareholder wealth. Dividend policy does matter, say the authors, as they cite many classic and contemporary examples to show how dividend policy decisions play out in the marketplace. A carefully planned and executed policy is critical to maximizing shareholder wealth. This accessible, practical book covers every aspect of sound dividend planning and implementation. It 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. The book focuses less on mathematics and more on the intuition of share valuation as a function of dividend policy. While the authors acknowledge the irrelevance of dividend policy in a world with perfect capital markets, they stress how market imperfections such as taxes, imperfect information, and agency issues can alter the dividend irrelevance conclusion. The book devotes special chapters to international dividend policy and to share repurchases as an alternative to dividend payouts. It concludes with the authors' recommendations on how managers should incorporate market imperfections most relevant to their firms in setting dividend policy. Dividend Policy is a must-have resource for all managers, executives, and institutional investors.

Review: Dividends get very little respect these days. In the last several years, they have accounted for only about 10 percent of investor total returns, but in the 100-year history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, dividends have accounted for about 40 percent of investor returns; reinvest dividends and it's closer to half of total returns. Why do individual firms have such dramatically different dividend yields, and why do yields vary so much over time? How do managers go about making dividend-policy decisions, and is a carefully managed dividend policy worth the bother? These are some of the questions that Ronald C. Lease and his coauthors answer in Dividend Policy.

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

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Title: Dividend Policy: Its Impact on Firm Value
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 1st Edition.

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Lease, Ronald C., John, Kose, Kalay, Avner, Loewenstein, Uri, Sarig, Oded H.
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