n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - A review of the dividend payments of South African listed companies during the period 1977-2011




Very little research has been done into the propensity of South African companies to pay dividends. This study attempts to address this limitation. In line with the findings of international research, the number of South African companies paying dividends decreased substantially over the research period (1977-2011). Companies that have never paid dividends were shown to be young and small companies and tended to be clustered in the resources, financial and cyclical services sectors. The median and mean dividend payout ratios of the entire sample decreased over time. The strongest negative trends were observed in the basic industries and resources sectors of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Earnings and dividends proved to be highly concentrated among the largest listed companies, and significant differences were observed between sectors. The findings are meaningful for investors (clientele) who are seeking dividends.


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