Dividend

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Dividends are money earned on stock holdings; usually, it represents a share of profits paid in proportion to the share of ownership at the decision of the board of directors. These may be paid in cash or stock. Many high growth companies do not pay dividends; rather, they invest their profits back into the company. These are known as retained earnings.

Sources

http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/oecon/chap12.htm

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