Forty-one companies in the S&P 500 have cut their dividend payouts this year, with the total reduction equivalent to $40.8 billion a year in cash lost to shareholders, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior analyst at S&P in New York.
In all of 2008, there were 61 cuts by S&P 500 companies totaling $40.6 billion in lost dividend income.
In the banking sector, Wells was the last of the Mohicans: With its cut, not a single financial company remains in the S&P 500 list of the top 25 dividend payers, in terms of total dollars paid out annually.
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