The distributions by a corporation to its stockholders that are declared by the board of directors and made to all of the holders of shares of a particular class or series of capital stock on a per share basis. These usually would accrue based on a dividend rate over an annual time period. When a dividend rate is given for free-trading common stock, it is an annualized dividend rate stated as a percentage and determined by dividing the total of the expected dividends over the next year by the trading price per share of common stock. A dividend record date is the date on which the corporation determines who the holders are who are entitled to the dividends. The ex-dividend date is the date immediately following the record date. The dividend payment date is the date on which the dividends are paid. Dividends may be cumulative or noncumulative. See Cumulative Dividends.