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Stock Dividend


A stock dividend refers to the distribution of additional shares to shareholders as an alternative to cash dividends. The distribution is proportional to the number of shares a shareholder already owns. This method allows the company to reinvest its profits back into itself without reducing its cash reserves.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Stock Dividend” is /stɒk ˈdɪvɪdɛnd/.

Key Takeaways

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  1. Form of Dividend Payment: A stock dividend is a form of dividend payment made to shareholders in the form of additional shares rather than cash. This increases the number of outstanding shares while maintaining the same value of the overall company.
  2. Reduces Cash Outflow: Companies often choose to pay dividends in the form of stock when they wish to conserve their cash for other business operations but still want to reward their shareholders.
  3. Long Term Investment: Stock dividends can be beneficial to shareholders who are focused on long-term growth as they increase their shareholdings in the company and can potentially benefit from capital gains in the future.



A stock dividend is an important concept in business and finance as it plays a vital role in influencing investment decisions. It refers to the payment made by corporations to shareholders in the form of additional shares rather than cash. Stock dividends can be beneficial to both the company and the investor. For the company, it’s a strategy to retain cash for business growth or debt reduction, while still rewarding its shareholders. For the investor, it increases their number of shares, thus providing potential for higher returns if the company’s stock price increases. Moreover, it can also offer tax advantages compared to cash dividends, depending on individual jurisdictions. Understanding the impact and implications of stock dividends is crucial for shareholders, investors, and financial analysts to make informed decisions about buying, selling, or holding onto stocks.


A stock dividend, primarily utilized by corporations, serves the purpose of retaining earnings within the company while simultaneously rewarding its investors. When profits are high or surplus capital is available, a company may choose not to distribute the surplus as cash dividends and retain it for future investments or debt payment. In order to still incentivize and reward the shareholders, the company issues additional shares of its own stock as a dividend, increasing the investor’s stockholding proportionately. This method is employed particularly when the company’s liquidity position is strained, and cash outflows need to be minimized.The stock dividend also serves the greater purpose of market stabilization. By issuing additional shares, a company can effectively reduce the market price of its stocks, making it more affordable and attractive to potential investors. This, in turn, enhances the overall liquidity in the stock, making it more tradable in the open market. Additionally, it offers an advantage to existing shareholders by giving them an opportunity to sell a portion of their shares if they need liquidity, without diluting their ownership in the company.


1. Apple Inc.: In 2014, Apple implemented a seven-for-one stock split. This means that for each share owned, stockholders received an additional six shares. This can also be seen as a method of stock dividend, as original investors received more shares in the company without having to pay for them upfront, and it increased the number of outstanding shares of the company.2. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: This company is known for not offering cash dividends and instead, prefers stock dividends. In 1996, Berkshire Hathaway created Class B shares and distributed them as a stock dividend to existing shareholders. This stock dividend allowed small investors to hold Berkshire Hathaway shares.3. Google (Alphabet Inc.): In 2014, Google issued a stock dividend that was a bit unique. It created a new class of stock (Class C capital stock), and shareholders of a record date received one new share of the Class C capital stock for each share they held. This allowed founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to keep their voting power within the company while raising capital. The additional shares did not dilute their control because the new shares had no voting rights.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Stock Dividend?

A stock dividend is a form of dividend payment made by a corporation to its shareholders in the form of additional shares, rather than cash.

Are Stock Dividends and Cash Dividends the same?

No, they are not. While both are forms of dividends paid to shareholders, a cash dividend provides shareholders with cash, whereas a stock dividend pays out in the form of additional shares.

How is a Stock Dividend paid out?

A stock dividend is paid out proportionally, meaning if you own 10% of the shares, you will receive 10% of the total dividend shares distributed.

Do I have to pay taxes on Stock Dividends?

The distribution of stock dividends is generally not taxable until the shares are sold. However, tax laws vary, therefore, you should consult with a tax professional for personalized advice.

What are the benefits of Stock Dividends?

Stock dividends can increase the total number of shares owned, which can directly increase the total profit when you sell the shares. It also offers shareholders the flexibility to sell the additional shares for cash, or hold onto them for potential capital gain in the future.

When are Stock Dividends issued?

The issue of stock dividends generally takes place on the date approved by the company’s board of directors, and on the record date, or the date when the company checks its records to identify shareholders eligible for dividend payments.

Does receiving a Stock Dividend dilute my ownership?

No, a stock dividend does not dilute your ownership percentage. Even though more shares are issued, they are distributed proportionally to all shareholders.

Why would a company offer Stock Dividends instead of cash dividends?

Companies may decide to issue stock dividends instead of cash dividends when they want to preserve their cash for business operations, or when they want to reinvest their profits back into the business.

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