We currently pay dividends of $0.075 per common share every month, an annual rate of $0.90. The record date is the last business day of the month, and the dividend is usually payable on the 12th of the month following. If you own shares on the record date, you will receive the dividend. We have increased this regular dividend every year during our four years as a public company.
When we issue our financial results in February each year, we also declare a special dividend so that all of our earnings during the previous year that ended December 31 are paid out to our shareholders. Our payout ratio during the year is relatively low - in 2015 it was 90% - a reflection of our conservative approach. Of course, including the special dividend, our payout ratio is approximately 100%.
Under Section 130.1 of the Income Tax Act, taxable dividends paid to shareholders (other than capital gains dividends) are taxed as interest income. As a Mortgage Investment Corporation, we do not pay any income taxes, provided that we distribute all of our taxable income each year (and meet certain other requirements). In effect, we flow interest income that we earn on our investments in mortgages through to our shareholders.
We have an uninterrupted record of paying dividends since our inception in 2001. For the full years that Atrium has been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, our dividend record is shown below.
Dividends per share -