Investors sometimes buy or sell shares of stock based on particular events or deadlines. For example, an investor may sell shares just before the end of the year for tax purposes or purchase shares immediately before a company's quarterly earnings statement is released. You can sell shares of stock just prior to the dividend date by checking the company's calendar for an announcement of its next dividend payment.
1. Visit the company's website and click on "Investor Relations." This generally appears as a stand-alone link or may appear on a menu under the "About Us" link.
2. Click the link that displays company investment events, which may be labelled "Earnings," "Company Events," "Corporate Calendar" or a similar title.
3. Check the listed events for the next dividend date. If no date is visible, the company has not yet announced its next dividend date. In that case, check the site regularly for an announcement.
4. Alternatively, you can call investor relations at the firm, ask your stock broker to inform you about the next dividend date or check dates on sites that track dividend information.
5. Contact your broker to sell your shares prior to the dividend date. You can also enter a sale over the Internet at an online brokerage where you have an account.
- A company's investor relations website usually includes a list of past dividend dates, which you can use as a reliable guide for estimating future dividend dates that have not yet been announced. Some companies keep a very regular schedule of dividend payments. For example, IBM generally pays dividends on the 10th of March, June, September and December.
- In addition to the date the dividend is paid, you should also be aware of the record date and the ex-dividend date. To receive a dividend, you must be a shareholder on the company's books by the record date, generally a month before the dividend is paid. To be on the records, you should purchase shares by the ex-dividend date, a few days prior to the record date. These dates are important to buy or sell strategies involving dividends.