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Discussion 4 – Holland C   Holland CarrDividend Distribution After an

Discussion 4 – Holland C


Holland Carr

Dividend Distribution

After an organization has become publicly traded and had time to mature, they must determine how to distribute their free cash flow. When deciding this, it is important that the organization recognize that since they are a publicly traded company, the free cash flow is not owned by the firm, rather it is the shareholders (Ehrhardt & Brigham, 2024). Another consideration to be adopted by the firm is that their primary objective is to maximize shareholder value (Ehrhardt & Brigham, 2024). Utilizing these two mindsets, if the company plans to retain free cash flow for investments, the investments must contribute to an increase in value for the shareholders. Therefore, an optimal distribution policy consists of decisions that will maximize the intrinsic value of a company, increasing the shareholder’s wealth. However, an optimal distribution policy is not a universal system and must be established on a company specific basis.

            Implementing an ideal dividend distribution policy is dependent upon the company’s earnings and free cash flow. The optimal dividend distribution policy may vary depending on shareholder preference (Ehrhardt & Brigham, 2024). For example, some shareholders prefer to receive their payouts through an increase in capital gains because they are taxed at lower rates than dividends, this is known as the tax effect theory (Ehrhardt & Brigham, 2024). Contrarily, some shareholders argue that without dividend payments, managers in the form have more capital to spend at their discretion, possibly decreasing the value of the company (Ehrhardt & Brigham, 2024).

            Dividend distribution policies are very impactful to the capital structure of any mature firm. The decision on how to distribute free cash flow has rippling affects that affect both the shareholders and the firm. For example, a company may choose to pay out high dividends to the shareholders, which would create a large tax burden on the shareholders. Also, opting to pay higher dividends effectively lowers the firm’s ability for investments and the firm’s ability to increase intrinsic value. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when developing a dividend distribution policy, the firm must consider taxes, stockholder preference, free cash flow, and the effect this decision will have on the capital structure of the firm.



Ehrhardt, M. C., & Brigham, E. F. (2024). Corporate Finance: A Focused Approach (8th ed.). Cengage Learning, INC.

Discussion 4- Mirna Tawiah


Mirna Tawiah

Hi Class,

Three optimal dividend policies include stable, constant, and residual.
    Stable dividends are predictable. Mature companies will opt for stable dividends since they can predict their payouts. A stable dividend can be maintained even during times of lower earnings. “The goal is to align the dividend policy with the long-term growth of the company rather than with quarterly earnings volatility.” (Chen, J)
    Constant dividends allows companies to pay a percentage of their earnings every year. This option allows for a return that’s dependent on the company’s earnings, even if it increases or decreases. Regular constant dividends show a level of financial stability and minimize any investor uncertainty. 
    Residual dividends mean that dividends are paid from leftover earnings after all profitable investment opportunities have been funded. This is more volatile than the constant or stable dividend. 
These can affect a firm’s capital structure by retaining earnings, equity and debt balance, as well as the cost of capital. If a company is regularly paying out a portion of its profits to shareholders, then the amount of earnings retained reduces. Less retention means a smaller equity base over time. If the company chooses to issue more debt to maintain dividends, its debt to equity ratio increases, which also increases financial risk. A stable dividend policy can make a company less risky to invest in which can potentially lower the company’s cost of equity.


Chen, J. (2023, September 29). Dividend Policy: What It Is and How the 3 Types Work. Investopedia. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from 

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