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  • Post last modified:December 15, 2023
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“Ex-dividend” is a financial term that relates to the payment of dividends to shareholders of a company’s stock. The ex-dividend date is a key date in the dividend payment process, and it is associated with the buying and selling of shares in the stock market.

Here’s an explanation of the ex-dividend process:

1. **Declaration Date:**
– The declaration date is the day on which a company’s board of directors announces its intention to pay a dividend. The company specifies the dividend amount, the record date, and the ex-dividend date.

2. **Record Date:**
– The record date is the date set by the company on which an investor must be listed as a shareholder to be eligible to receive the upcoming dividend. Investors who own shares on the record date are entitled to the dividend.

3. **Ex-Dividend Date:**
– The ex-dividend date is the first day on which a stock trades without the dividend. If an investor buys shares on or after the ex-dividend date, they will not be eligible to receive the upcoming dividend. The ex-dividend date is typically set one business day before the record date.

4. **Impact on Stock Price:**
– On the ex-dividend date, the stock’s price is adjusted downward by the amount of the dividend. This is known as the “dividend drop” or “dividend haircut.” The adjustment reflects the fact that new buyers will not receive the upcoming dividend payment.

5. **Buying Before Ex-Dividend Date:**
– Investors who want to receive the upcoming dividend need to purchase the stock before the ex-dividend date. This ensures that they are recorded as shareholders on the record date and will be eligible for the dividend.

6. **Selling on or after Ex-Dividend Date:**
– If an investor sells their shares on or after the ex-dividend date, they are still entitled to the dividend even if the actual settlement occurs after the record date. The new buyer, however, will not receive the upcoming dividend.

7. **Dividend Payment Date:**
– The dividend payment date is when the company distributes the dividend to eligible shareholders. This is the culmination of the dividend payment process.

Investors often pay attention to ex-dividend dates when making investment decisions, especially if they are seeking income from dividends. It’s important to note that not all stocks pay dividends, and the frequency and amount of dividends can vary among companies. Additionally, other factors, such as the company’s financial health and future prospects, should be considered when evaluating potential investments.