In a January press release, S&P Dow Jones Indices said that net dividend issuance for U.S. stocks in the fourth quarter of 2013 was up $12.7 billion. Interestingly, although S&P only recorded 885 dividend increases in the 2013 fourth quarter versus 1,266 dividend increases in the 2012 fourth quarter, the dollar amount of the dividend increase in the last quarter of 2012 was just $8.4 billion.
At the same time, just 51 companies decreased their dividend rates during the last quarter of 2013; in the same quarter in 2012, 154 companies lowered their dividend rates, the press release said.
During all of 2013, 2,895 issues ratcheted up their dividend rate, a small increase from 2,887 in 2012. At the same time, 299 companies decreased their dividend rates, up from 275 in 2012, according to the press release.
S&P DJI tracks the dividend rates and issuance of roughly 10,000 issues listed on U.S. markets.