Generally, yes. But technically speaking, you receive not a dividend yield, but a dividend payout—and they're not the same thing.

A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, and paid to its shareholders of record on a specific date.

After being declared, a company with common stock that pays a dividend will typically distribute the dividend every quarter. However—and this is where confusion often lies—the amount the company quotes is normally an annual figure.

### key takeaways

• Dividends, a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, are generally paid in cash every quarter to shareholders.
• The dividend yield is the annual dividend per share divided by the share price, expressed as a percentage; it will fluctuate with the price of the stock.
• Dividend payouts are voluntary on a company's part, though suspending a dividend or paying a smaller-than-expected amount doesn't go down well on Wall Street.

## How Are Dividends Calculated?

So, to calculate the amount you will receive each quarter, you will have to take the quoted dividend amount and divide it by four.

For example, if you own Cory's Tequila Corporation (CTC), which pays a \$1 yearly dividend on a quarterly basis, you would receive \$0.25 every three months.

These figures are per share, of course. So, if you owned 100 shares of Cory's stock, you'd receive \$25 in dividends every quarter, and \$100 for the total year.

Although cash dividends are the most common, dividends can also be issued as shares of stock or other property.

## Dividends and Dividend Yield

Investors often view the company’s dividend by its yield—a measure of the dividend in terms of a percent of the current market price. Represented as a percentage, the dividend yield is calculated according to this formula: