2009 was a tough year for many investors who rely on dividends as part of their income.

Here are the details on the dividend activity of the 500 companies in the S&P 500:

  • The number of dividend increases in 2009 totaled 151.  That significantly lagged the 236 increases registered in 2008.
  • The number of companies that decreased their dividend totaled 68, up from 40 a year ago.
  • Ten companies suspended their dividend payments, down from 22 a year ago.

Approximately 7,000 publicly owned companies report dividend information to Standard & Poor’s Dividend Record. In 2009, dividend cuts cost investors over $58 billion in income, according to Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P. Silverblatt believes the dividend recovery will be slow and that it will take until 2012-2013 to return to the levels reached in 2007-2008.

Source: First Trust Advisors L.P.