DEFINITION of 'Cash Distribution Per Unit - CDPU'
A measure, used in Canada, that refers to the amount of cash payments made to individual unitholders of a specified income trust, as designated by the Canada Revenue Agency. The ratio is calculated by taking the total amount of cash distributions divided by the total amount of unit shares issued.
BREAKING DOWN 'Cash Distribution Per Unit - CDPU'
This useful ratio summarizes the amount that each single unitholder will receive as a trust payment (similar to a dividend for preferred shares). Trust payments are mandatory for income trusts as long as there are positive earnings for a particular period. The more income the trust earns, the more will be paid out in the form of trust payments. Some business analysts argue that the nearly 100% distribution of earnings before income taxes to unitholders is a negative thing for firms, as there is little money left over to re-invest into the business in order to stimulate growth.