Explain the following as factors affecting 'dividend decision'

Explain the following as factors affecting ‘dividend decision’.
(i) Stability of dividend (ii) Shareholders’preference
(iii) Legal constraints (iv) Access to capital market
Explain the following as factors affecting dividend decision
(i) Stability of earnings (ii) Growth opportunities
(iii) Cash Flow position (iv) Taxation policy
Explain the factors affecting the dividend decision.
Identify the financial decision which determines the amount of profit earned to be distributed and to be retained in the business. Explain any four factors affecting this decision.
You are the finance manager of a company. Your board of directors have asked you to decide the dividend policy of a company. Explain the factors which you will consider while determining the dividend policy.
Explain any four factors of ‘dividend decision’ of a company.

Dividend decision relates to how much of the company’s net profit is to be distributed to the shareholders and how much of it should be retained in the business for meeting the investment requirements.
This decision should be taken, keeping in view the overall objective of maximising shareholders’ wealth.
Factors affecting dividend decision :

  1. Amount of Earnings
    Dividends are paid out of current and past earnings. Thus, earnings is a major determinant of dividend decision.
  2. Stability in Earnings
    A company having higher and stable earnings can declare higher dividends than a company with lower and unstable earnings.
  3. Stability of Dividends
    Generally, companies try to stabilise dividends per share. A steady dividend is given each year. A change is only made, if the company’s earning potential has gone up and not just the earnings of the current year.
  4. Growth Opportunities
    Companies having good growth opportunities retain more money out of their earnings so as to finance the required investment. The dividend declared in growth companies is, therefore, smaller than that in the non-growth companies. .
  5. Cash Flow Position
    Dividend involves an outflow of cash. Availability of enough cash is necessary for payment or declaration of dividends.
  6. Shareholders’Preference
    While declaring dividends, management must keep in mind the preferences of the shareholders. Some shareholder& general desire that atleast a certain amount is paid as dividend. The companies should consider the preferences of such shareholders .
  7. Taxation Policy
    If the tax on dividends is higher, it is better to pay less by way of dividends. But if the tax rates are lower, higher dividends may be declared. This is because as per the current taxation policy, a dividend distribution tax is levied on companies. However, shareholders prefer higher dividends, as dividends are tax free in the hands of shareholders.
  8. Stock Market Reaction
    Generally, an increase in dividends has a positive impact on stock market, whereas, a decrease or no increase may have a negative impact on stock market. Thus, while deciding on dividends, this should be kept in mind.
  9. Access to Capital Market
    Large and reputed companies generally have easy access to the capital market and, therefore, may depend less on retained earnings to finance their growth. These companies tend to pay higher dividends than the smaller companies.
  10. Legal Constraints
    Certain provisions of the Companies Act, place restrictions on payouts as dividend. Such provisions must be adhered to, while declaring the dividend.
  11. Contractual Constraints
    While granting loans to a company, sometimes, the lender may impose certain restrictions on the payment of dividends in future. The companies are required to ensure that the dividend payout does not violate the terms of the loan agreement in this regard.