What is 'Semiannual'

Semiannual is an adjective that describes something that is paid, reported, published or otherwise takes place twice each year, typically once every six months.

For example, a ten-year general obligation bond issued by the Buckeye City, Ohio Consolidated School District in 2018 will pay interest on a semiannual basis each year until the bond's maturity date in 2028. Investors who buy these bonds will receive interest payments twice in each of those years - in this case once in June and once in December. The school district will also publish a semiannual report on its finances, once in February and once in November.

BREAKING DOWN 'Semiannual'

If a corporation pays a semiannual dividend, its shareholders will receive dividends twice yearly (a corporation can choose how many dividends to distribute each year - if any). Financial statements or reports are frequently published on a quarterly (four times per year) or semiannual basis.

Examples of Semiannual Payments

Dividends are another example of payments made on a semiannual basis. Corporations may choose how many dividends they distribute to their shareholders each year, or they may pay no dividends at all. If Acme corporation’s management decides to pay a semiannual dividend, Acme's shareholders will receive dividend payments twice each year, perhaps one in June and another in December. Acme Corporation may also publish its financial statements or reports on a semiannual basis.

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