When it comes to the number of dividend increases declared during a single month, the U.S. stock market just recorded its best February ever.
As an important caveat, “best February ever” refers to a data series that only extends back to January 2004, where there are only 15 Februaries to consider.
Still, what makes the month more remarkable is that it also posted the third highest monthly total of declared dividend raises that have been recorded in the 170 months for which we do have this kind of data!
Let’s get to the dividend numbers for February 2018:
The increase in companies omitting their dividends is interesting, so we tapped the limited sample of dividend declarations recorded by Seeking Alpha and the Wall Street Journal for February to try to get more insight into what kinds of firms are passing on paying dividends to shareholders. We found just one report in the sample, for Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR), who reported after the end of trading on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 that they would suspend paying their dividend to use the $250 million they would otherwise have paid out to reduce their corporate debt.