capital dividend(redirected from Capital Dividends)
A dividend that comes from what an investor has paid into a publicly-traded company, rather than from its earnings. That is, a capital dividend occurs when a company gives back what the investor has invested. It may occur when a company must pay a required dividend but earnings make it unable to do so from its profits. Capital dividends may be a sign that a company is not financially healthy. In any case, they reduce the amount of capital that the company has to invest in its operations. They are also called return of capital.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A dividend considered to be drawn from paid-in capital rather than from current earnings or retained earnings. Capital dividends are generally not taxable to a stockholder when paid; rather, they are used to adjust the basis of the security downward such that a larger capital gain or a smaller capital loss will result at the time the security is sold. A capital dividend is somewhat akin to tearing boards off a house to use as firewood. If the process goes on too long, the house itself will be gone. Also called return of capital.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.