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Positive dividend values in bulk download

I was looking through historical dividend payments and found a few where the values were reported as positive rather than negative. I am not sure if this is a data issue or my lack of understanding. Looking at some of the results (OKE for example) shows that the total outflows for these periods in question match reports on other sites (e.g. marketwatch.com and yahoo finance) leading me to believe I just have a misunderstanding.

Thus, if the values are correct, under what circumstances would dividends be positive cash flow for the company?


Comments

  • edited August 2019
    Hi,
    you are right, dividends should be negative normally.
    I checked a couple of companies from your list and it seems that all the positive dividend values come from "calculated" statements, that is statements that are not directly reported by the company but instead calculated based on the available reports. For OKE and GRMN the positive dividends come from the Q4 cash flow for example, which is generally calculated by taking the full year values and subtracting the first nine months values. I guess it can happen that a company is restating some of their figures during the year already, so that dividends for the first nine months are reported to be actually higher than dividends from the full year. We normally try to correct this by taking the most recent reports available for all statements but seems like there are some rare cases where this doesn't work still.
    I'll see if we can find a solution for this but in the mean time I think you should assume that if dividends > 0 in the bulk download, they are probably actually 0 for that period.
    Sorry that there is no easy fix for this.
  • Ok, that makes sense. It's a small number of exceptions (the ones above are most, if not all of the companies where this occurs) so it's not that problematic to apply such a fix. At least the annual numbers seemed to match up pretty closely to other sources I saw.
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