What does Dividend & Stock yield mean? Why & How to Calculate?

what does stock yield mean
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If you are investing in stocks, it is important to know what stock yield means! The stock yield is a ratio that shows how much money you are making on your stock investment. The stock market may be volatile, but if you are able to time your investments correctly, you can earn an average of 20% per year over time with stocks. 

Article Overview

What does stock yield mean?

Stock yield is a measure of the total return on investment. This return includes earning from dividends and also capital gain from the share price rise. Stock yield tells you what your money will be worth at a future date, based on how it has been invested and the returns that have been generated. In financial terms, it’s expressed as a percentage.

What does Dividend yield Mean

What does Dividend yield mean?

Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholders. They’re usually paid out quarterly or yearly but sometimes monthly for example Realty Income pays monthly dividends. Dividends represent a portion of a company’s earnings that are distributed back to shareholders in simple words it is the rate of return.

When we talk about dividend yields, we’re talking about what percentage of a company’s total income each year gets returned to shareholders through dividends.

For example, you bought a share of Apple at $100. During a given year, Apple had earnings per share of $40 and it pays a dividend of $8 this year. So each stock has a dividend yield of $8/$100 = 0.08 or 8%.

Hence for calculating dividend yield, you have to use this simple formula= Annual Dividends / Price per Share.

How do I calculate stock yield?

stock yield can be calculated in two different ways. The first method is called cost yield, it uses the stock prices you bought. If you want to calculate the cost yield, you have to take the increased price with the dividends and then divide it by the stock price you purchased.

Let’s say that you bought 100 shares of Apple at $100 per share for an initial investment of $10,000. You got a $5 annual dividend payout per share and then you sold those shares for $110 each, your stock yield would be 15%. 

Cost yield = {(Price rise + Dividend payment per share)/ Purchase price}

The second method is called Current yield, it uses the current prices. If you want to calculate the Current yield, you have to take the increased price with the dividends per share and then divide it by the current share price.

Current Yield = {(Price rise + Dividend earned per share)/ Current market price}

That being said current yield or cost yield both fluctuates frequently with the fluctuations in share prices. In other words stock yield always keeps changing with the fluctuations in share prices.

How to calculate monthly dividend yield?

The simplest way to calculate the monthly dividend yield is by dividing the annual dividend per share by 12. This will give you what percentage of the company’s annual income is paid out in dividends each month.

On the other hand, If you want to calculate the quarterly dividend yield, you have to take the monthly yield and multiply it by 4.

What is a good stock yield

What is a good stock yield?

A good stock yield is a higher return on investment than one might have expected. It’s usually based on what the company’s earnings are, and how much interest they’re paying for their debt.

Higher stock yields are often associated with companies that have a lot of cash on balance sheets.

To determine what makes a good stock yield, you need to know the key factors that contribute to it. The main factors would be the company’s earnings and how much debt they’re carrying.

If the company is making lots of money and has very little debt, it will be able to pay out more dividends. Companies with high stock yields are also often very successful and popular because income investors like to see that their investments are doing well.

The average stock yield of Dow is about 10%. If you’re looking for a good stock yield, you can consider any amount above 10%.

High dividend-paying stock increases the feeling of security, the knowledge that their investment is doing well. People like to feel like they’re receiving a steady income stream. It boosts their confidence in what they’re doing. By investing in companies with high stock yields, they can watch their balance grow over time.

Some tips that can help people when they’re looking for companies with high stock yields is to look at what the company’s earnings are, and how much debt they have. It’s also advisable to check if the company pays a regular dividend.

Another tip would be to look at what type of industry it’s in because some industries are more stable than others.

Is 2% a good dividend yield?

It’s a question many investors ask. Others simply avoid companies with small dividend yields, not realizing that some of the lowest-paying dividend stocks have consistently outperformed the S&P 500 Index for decades.

The average dividend yield in the financial sector is about 4.2%. In that sense, compared to financial stock 2% is a very bad dividend yield. On the other hand, the 2020 year-end yield for Dow is 1.87%. In this condition, you can consider 2% a very good dividend yield.

Dividend yield varies from sector to sector. It completely depends on the investor’s preference. Generally, investors choose sectors for their investment depending on security and the economic growth of that market.

Now take the example of Microsoft. It has an annual dividend yield of 0.78% while Google has an annual dividend of 0%. But it doesn’t mean that Microsoft is doing well or Google is doing badly.

Because Google has never paid any cash dividends in its history. Instead, it manages to distribute about 30% of its profit by stock buybacks.

Again, it all depends on the market condition of that sector and the investor’s choice.

What type of companies may have high dividend yields?

Historically, energy and utility companies have paid relatively high dividends. They were viewed as reliable sources of income during periods when other investments yielded nothing or very little. Investors have had more to worry about since the oil and gas boom, which has led to greater earnings and even higher dividend yields.

Companies that attract a lot of investors’ attention tend to have low or even no dividends, as they focus largely on increasing the share price rather than paying out dividends. You can have a look at the share prices of Amazon and Facebook.

Some smaller companies with less financial strength tend to pay relatively high dividends, as there is generally less competition for shares in such cases. However, this can be risky as well: if investment picks up elsewhere those same stocks may begin to lose value as well.

Many investors like dividend-paying stocks because it allows them to reinvest their income back into new stock purchases without requiring additional capital from other sources (e.g., loans).

One way for investors today to harvest a high dividend yield is to invest in foreign mature companies that pay out much of their earnings as dividends. For example, Canada’s Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PBA) pays a dividend yield of 6.19%, and Korean telecom company – KT Corp. (KT)  pays an annual dividend yield of  4.16%.

What is the primary difference between dividend yield and payout ratio?

Dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders. The amount of the payment is usually based on the number of shares owned and can be expressed as either a percentage or dollar value. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing the annual dividend per share (in dollars) by the price per share.

A company’s dividend payout ratio is calculated by dividing dividends paid during one year (usually in millions) over net income during one year (usually in millions).

Dividend yield Vs. Stock yield

Dividend yield and stock yield are two terms that people often confuse, but understanding the difference between them can help you make a better investment decision. 

Dividend yield and stock yield are two different types of yield. The dividend yield is the amount that investors earn from a company’s dividends based on the total number of shares owned.

Stock yield, on the other hand, reflects what an investor earns from capital gains and dividends combined.

The dividend-to-stock ratio can be used to determine how much income you would get if you invested in stocks versus investing in bonds or cash equivalents such as money market funds or certificates of deposit (CDs).

What does rising bond yield mean for the US stock market?

The short answer is that bond yields move opposite to stock prices. So a rise in interest rates usually correlates with a fall in equity prices and vice versa. Also, the yield curve usually slopes upward as longer maturity bonds typically have higher yields than shorter-term securities.

When bond prices fall, it means that bond yields rise and vice versa. Rising bond yield is an indication of higher inflation expectations, which translates into higher interest rates for borrowers.

This can be bad news for stocks because it means that investors will have less incentive to take on riskier investments like stocks.

Although many economists are predicting doom and gloom, there are also some who see this as a buying opportunity in the stock market.

The 10 year treasury yield has risen from 2% at the start of last year to 3.5%, up from 1.8% just two years ago. That’s not only good news for savers who want higher returns; it also means more money flowing into equities.

But while many investors see rising Treasury yields as positive, others worry that higher borrowing costs will hurt business spending and economic growth.

And some economists say that when the Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates again, it might actually slow down the economy instead of spurring faster job creation.

How to Calculate an ETF’s, or Mutual Fund’s Yield?

We better explain it by an example. Suppose, An ETF or mutual fund is trading for $25.00 and is paying $2.00/share in dividends, it has a yield of 8% ($2.00/$25.00).

Simply like a stock yield, to determine how much you will make by owning 1 unit of an ETF or mutual fund over a year, divide the dividend per share by the trading price, and then multiply it by 100.

Again let’s say you own 3 units (3 X $25.00 = $75) of this ETF or mutual fund. Your total dividends will be 3 X $2.00 = $6. Your total yield will be $6 / $75 = 8%.

What are the Advantages of Dividend Yields?

Many investors like to look at dividend yields as a fundamental analysis tool, or even as a valuation metric. However, there’s more to that than just the math.

By comparing the current dividend yield to historical yields as well as to yields offered by competing companies, investors can determine whether a stock’s dividend income is likely to increase over time, remain steady or decrease.

As a result, they can make more informed decisions about whether they should buy, hold or sell the stock.

In other words, this metric is particularly useful for identifying undervalued stocks that are potentially poised for capital appreciation.

What are the limitations of dividend yields?

Dividend yields can be misleading, and it is important to understand why! The limitations of dividend yields come when they tell an incomplete story about the company’s business and risk factors.

Dividend yield can be easily manipulated by a firm, for example, if it chooses to liquidate its assets in order to pay out dividends. Cash liquidation is an easy way to increase a stock price, which in turn increases the dividend yield.

A firm might also deliberately burn through cash so that it can reduce its debts and subsequently increase the company’s stock dividends.

This approach would be seen by investors as a kind of indirect share buyback. But a company may have a dividend yield of 10% per year, and only a small percentage of those earnings are from regular revenue.

The rest comes from asset liquidations or other unusual actions that would not be sustainable in the long term. Thus a company could potentially mask underlying issues with generous dividend yields.


The concept of yield can be confusing for new investors. If you are interested in learning more about what it means, this article should provide some clarity on the topic. We also cover some general information to help you make an informed decision when choosing a stock based on its dividend yield and payout ratio. There are many advantages that come with dividends, so if your goal is financial independence or retirement investing then it may be worth exploring these concepts further.