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Study: Dividends Regain Importance For Manufacturers

By John S. McClenahen Only 10% of senior financial officers of member companies recently surveyed by Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI say their current policy is to reduce dividend payments. In contrast, 77% report they are holding dividends constant or raising them. In contrast, 47% of those surveyed report that dividends -- in terms of payout ratios or absolute payouts-fell during the 1990s. "These results appear to signal that, for the manufacturing sector as a whole, the decline in the importance of dividends over the past 10 years is over and that dividends are making a comeback of sorts," says Donald A. Norman, an economist at the Arlington, Va.-based business policy group.

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