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You can calculate a dividend payout ratio by dividing the dividend a company pays per share by the company's earnings per share. The normal range is 25% to 50% of earnings, though the average is higher in some sectors of the economy than in others.
Some analysts think that an unusually high ratio may indicate that a company is in financial trouble but doesn't want to alarm shareholders by reducing its dividend.Yahoo Finance - Cite This Source - This Definition
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