S&P 500: Dividends set a record $350.4 billion in 2014
Howard Silverblatt (pictured), senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices comments on dividend payouts reaching a new record in 2014.
The theme for Q4 and 2014 continues to be shareholder return, as dividends set a Q4 record of $92.8 billion and 2014 a record $350.4 billion (finals). Buybacks (62% of Q4 is reported) for Q4,’14 are running lower than Q3,’14, but excluding Apple (Q4,’14: $5B vs. Q3,’14 $17B) and Monsanto ($296M vs. $6.17B, a situation), they are flat.
For the year, buybacks are set to post their best year since the $589 billion 2007 record (meaning they will be #2 on the list). Combined, dividends and buyback, will set a new record, with the current total estimated to be just shy of $900 billion at this point (so $900 is feasible); 2013 was $787 billion, with the record (for now) being 2007’s $846 billion.
Notables: Apple and Monsanto decreased for the quarter, which impacted the aggregates; for the year significant increases were posted by Apple ($45B vs. $25.9B), Intel ($10.8B vs. $2.1B), Boeing ($6B vs. $1.8B) and FedEx ($4.6B vs. $1.2B); decreases were posted for AT&T ($1.6B vs. $13.0B; although T did bulked up on cash in Q4), Halliburton ($0.8B vs. $4.4B), Oracle ($8.1B vs. $10.8B) and Cisco ($6.4B vs. $8.2B)
CapX, with only 49% reported (using the same issues), has a chance at setting a new quarterly record, which would make 2014 a 13% gain over 2013; but only half are in (another week should give a clearer picture, with 2 weeks the ability to make a statement).
Notables (with less than half in): health care is down 5%, but up 7% year-over-year, as industrials are 27% higher in Q4 over Q3, with 2014 up 8% for the year over 2013; Google, Royal Caribbean and Carnival increased significantly for Q4, as Google, Disney (although Disney was down for Q4) increased nicely for 2014 over 2013, with Caterpillar spending less for 2014.