If you invest money in the stock market, one way to make a profit is when your stocks pay dividends. Companies can announce a dividend payment as a total dividend payment, which leaves investors to calculate how much money they make per share. Companies publish information about their dividend payments and shares outstanding in their annual reports. Knowing the dividends paid per share allows you to figure out how much money you will receive from the dividend payment.

1. Look up total dividends the company paid, the company's preferred stock dividends paid and the company's total outstanding common shares in its annual report.

2. Subtract the preferred stock dividends paid from the total dividends paid to find the company's total common stock dividends paid. For example, if the company paid $500,000 in dividends and $50,000 went to preferred shares, that leaves $450,00 in common dividends.

3. Divide the amount paid in common share dividends by the number of common shares outstanding to find the dividends per share. Finishing this example, if the company has 225,000 common shares outstanding, divide $450,000 by 225,000 to find the dividend equals $2 per share.

#### About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."