Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index: US Dividend Payments Reach All-Time High in Q1

Company Release - 5/23/2024

⦁ US dividend growth accelerated in Q1 2024 with distributions hitting a record $164.3 billion.
⦁ 97% of US companies increased their dividend payouts or held them steady year-over-year.
⦁ Globally, dividends rose to a first-quarter record of $339.2bn, up 6.8% on an underlying basis.

US dividends increased 7% on an underlying basis to a record high $164.3 billion in the first quarter of 2024, according to the latest Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index. The restoration of Walt Disney’s payout after the pandemic, and the first Q1 dividends from Meta and T-Mobile were the main factors behind the acceleration in US distributions.

With corporate profits increasing, 97% of US companies increased their dividend payments or held them steady year-over-year. Among the exceptions was Walgreens Boots Alliance. The pharmacy chain made its first dividend cut in almost half a century in a bid to save cash following slackening sales and growing competitive pressure. The move will save the company $800 million this year.

Globally, dividends climbed to a first-quarter record of $339.2 billion, as 93% of companies that made a Q1 payment either raised their dividends or held them steady. Banks accounted for a quarter of global growth. Notably, just six of 35 global sectors saw dividends contract, as most sectors delivered solid single-digit underlying increases.

Forecast unchanged – underlying growth expected at 5.0% for 2024

The first quarter was broadly in line with Janus Henderson’s expectations and the rest of the year continues to promise steady progress. Janus Henderson has made no change in its 2024 forecast for total payouts of $1.72 trillion. Lower special dividends mean the headline increase is set to be 3.9% year-on-year, equivalent to a rise of 5.0% on an underlying basis.

Amber Milam, Client Portfolio Manager at Janus Henderson, said: “Dividend growth in the US remains remarkably resilient as companies seek to find a balance between capital expenditures, financing needs, and shareholder returns via dividends and buybacks in this higher interest rate environment. Income investors enjoyed a strong start to 2024 and current balance sheet strength suggests this momentum will continue throughout the year.”

ENDS

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Notes to editors
Our headline growth rate describes the change in the total dollar amount paid by companies compared to the corresponding quarter each year. Our underlying figure adjusts for the distortion that can be caused by one-off special dividends, changing exchange rates, the effect of companies entering and leaving the global top 1,200 that comprise our index and the impact of changes in payment dates. The latter two tend to be negligible over the course of a whole year at the global level, though they can have a greater impact in any one quarter, geography or sector.

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