Glossary of terms and methodology

Stock price

The current value of the stock, pulled once daily using data from the previous day's close.

The historical stock price in the chart (found on the individual stock pages) grabs the stock value at the close of the day on the given date.

Stock volatility

The volatility of the stock, calculated at a monthly and quarterly intervals (the payout date) of the respective stock.

Dividend volatility

The volatility of the dividend payouts, calculated from the monthly or quarterly cash amount. This value takes all dividend records into account.

Last trade volume

The total trade volume for the given stock in the prior month.

Dividend records

The total number of historical dividend records in the database for the given stock. This value differs from the stock history, as many of the dividend records do not have associated stock data, such as the stock value in that given month, or trade volume. I didn't want to discard the utility of the incomplete dividend records, which often include many more years of data, so I created two separate (and overlapping) metrics.

Stock records

The total number of historical stock records in the database for the given stock, taken at monthly or quarterly intervals at the time of the dividend payout. These records overlap with the dividend records, but include more information, such as the trade volume in the given month, as well as the stock value. There are usually fewer of these than dividend records.

Annual dividend yield

The annualized dividend payout for a stock, calculated by adding the past twelve months, or four quarters, of payouts. Where there are not twelve months or four quarters of dividend history, the value is displayed as a year to date (YTD) value, meaning it is lower than the actual number will be with a full year's payout. If this is the case, it will be marked as such next to the value on the stock's detail page.

I considered predicting the annualized return, but such a prediction may not be accurate and I didn't want to include misleading data.

Because the annual dividend yield is calculated by adding the last years worth of dividend payouts, there are cases where the annual dividend yield will over-represent the stock's typical performance. For instance, this can happen when a large outlier payout has been distributed within the last year. Use the dividend volatility value, median APY, and the historical information in the provided charts, to account for this.

Annual percentage yield (APY)

The annual percentage yield of the stock's dividend payout. This value is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the annual dividend yield. A few things to keep in mind, here:

  1. The APY is based on the annual dividend yield. If the dividend yield is a year to date value (YTD), then so is the APY. That means this value could be lower than the actual end of year value will be. If this is the case, it will be marked as such next to the value on the stock's detail page.
  2. Also, because the APY is derived from the annual dividend yield, it may over-represent a stock's typical performance. This happens for the same reasons as are listed in the annual dividend yield description. Please see that section for more information.

Median APY

To help account for the volatility of the Annual percentage yield (APY), I've included the Median APY value, which extrapolates an annualized percentage yield based off of the median dividend payout value over the Last year.This value tends to be more representative of an expected return, but isn't perfect, especially for highly volatile stocks.

Yield percentage by month

This value is calculated by dividing the dividend yields at the given dates by their respective stock values distributed on those days. The percentage yields in the chart are not annualized, but still give an accurate depiction of the fluctuation in returns.