Australia is about to have its biggest month for shareholder dividends - $18.9 billion

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
  • $18.9 billion will paid out this month in the form of dividends to shareholders.
  • This is a record and is 16% higher than last year.
  • Total dividend payments for the year to June are $81.53 billion, 4.1%.

Shareholders will be paid $18.9 billion this September, the biggest single month for the payment of company dividends in Australian corporate history.

Total dividend payments for the year to June are up 4.1%, or $3.23 billion, to $81.53 billion.

Much of this cash will flow to shareholders in the next two months.

This chart from the Coppo report tells the dividend story:

Coppo Report

September 2017 was also the largest month for dividends $16.4 billion but this September is 16% higher at $18.9 billion, as this chart shows:

Copp Report

The top 20 dividend companies are paying $993 million, or 6.4%, more than last year.

The Commonwealth and BHP, the top two payers, are giving their shareholders a combined $6.8 billion:

Coppo Report

Telstra, Fortescue and AMP cut their dividends: Telstra was down to 11 cents from 15.5 cents; Fortescue more than halved its, dropping from 25 cents to 12 cents; while AMP’s went from 10 cents down to 4.5 cents.

Analysis by CommSec shows dividends are in vogue with most companies (90%) reporting full-year earnings results choosing to pay a dividend and 90% of those either lifting or maintaining the payout.

CommSec says the August earnings season was impressive.

“Six months ago, when describing the first-half 2018 reporting season we said results had been solid, not spectacular,” says CommSec.

“This reporting season, for companies largely reporting full-year results to June 2018, the macro picture has been almost been a carbon copy.”

Almost 93% of companies reported a profit, just below the 94% record high in February.

Aggregate statutory earnings lifted 8.4% on a year ago.

The percentage of companies issuing a dividend is near record highs, expenses have matched sales, and cash levels are at record highs and up 8.5% on a year ago for all ASX200, half or full-year reporting companies.

Of all companies reporting full year earnings, almost 93% posted a profit, 62% a lift in profit and 38% a decline.

And of those reporting a profit, 60% lifted profits and 40% reported a decline.

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