The many rewards and drawbacks of dividends

The many rewards and drawbacks of dividends
Michael O’Leary of Ryanair: the airline’s pattern of cashflows is highly variable Picture: Rex

There have been some very irregular patterns in Irish companies’ dividend paying habits – and Ryanair’s track record is perhaps the most irregular, notwithstanding its huge success

Investors – be they private, institutional or personal pension holders – can have very different preferences when it comes to dividend payments. Tax efficiency is one consideration, the irregular cashflow requirements and earnings performance of a company can be another, banker-imposed financial covenants that restrict dividend payments can be a third, and the profile of the company’s investors can be a fourth.

Perhaps the most irregular pattern of dividend payments among companies listed on the Irish...

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