UK Accounting Glossary
Ex-dividend means a stock is trading without the rights to a declared dividend. When a company declares a dividend, it also sets a record date: only shareholders of record on that date receive the dividend. Once the record date is set, stock exchanges or the National Association of Securities Dealers sets an ex-dividend date, which is usually two business days before the record date. If an investor buys the stock on its ex-dividend date or after, the investor won’t get the dividend. If an investor sells the stock after the ex-dividend date, the investor still gets the dividend. While the ex-dividend date is key for investors, it has no impact on the company’s accounts: The company has the same legal obligation to pay dividends in the same amount on the ex-dividend date as the day before. In stock tables, stocks trading ex-dividend are marked with an “x”. Not surprisingly, the ex-dividend date is also known as the “ex-date.”
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.