I'm new to the stock market and was wondering why stocks are so expensive when the dividends are so low. One share of apple costs 127 and its dividend is .22$. What exactly makes it worth so much?

I understand that there are non-dividend paying stocks/stocks where dividends are negligible, but what exactly does a buyer see value in if the stock is 127 dollars but they only make .22 a year?

  • If you think that's bad look at Nvidia... I honestly don't know what the point of Nvidia's dividend is.
    – quid
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:29
  • 2
    It is 0.22 every three months Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:30
  • 1
    Dividends are not income: "For a public company, the stock exchange (or market maker or specialist) automatically reduces the quoted prices by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date." Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:31
  • 1
    Just because it reduces the stock price doesn't mean it's not income. You get money, and you still have the share (and frankly, dividend-related price changes usually get lost in the noise of all the other things driving the stock price up or down.)
    – chepner
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:38
  • 1
    None of that seems relevant to the question. They just want to know why you would pay a lot for a stock with a small dividend.
    – chepner
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


Firms can achieve growth based on how investors rate their stocks.

For example you might be willing to pay $100 for a share of a stock that pays a steady $5 yearly dividend to get that 5% return but that stock might not appreciate much. If you put $120,000 in this stock then you would own 1200 shares and have a yearly gain of $6000 in dividends and still own $120,000 of the stock.

Another investor might be willing to pay $100 for a share of stock that pays a $0 yearly dividend but there is a chance the firm could achieve rapid growth or market penetration and their share price would jump to $120 in a year for a 20% return. If you put the same $120,000 in this stock then you would own 1200 shares and get a $0 yearly dividend but in one year your stock could be worth $144,000 for a gain of $24,000. So after that first year, you could sell 50 shares @ $120 each to "create" a "home-made dividend" of $6000 and still have 1150 shares left worth $138,000 (more value than the dividend case).

In the world of growth firms, many investors do not want firms to issue dividends and return that cash to investors because they believe the firm can use that cash to get a higher rate of return on that cash then they would get themselves.

Your question is valid in that there was often a "dividend premium" so that companies which issued dividends were valued higher than firms that did not issue a dividend. This was called the "dividend puzzle" However, more recent research indicates that the dividend premium or puzzle only exists when people do not have high ambitions for firms or when people are fearful. In high moving markets (like the recent bull market), investors tend to add a greater multiple to growth firms, some that not only do not pay dividends but are not even profitable.


Because dividends are only one thing that determines the stock price. Shares that keep going up in value are also desirable, even if they pay little or no dividend.

Since distribiting dividends decreases the net worth of the company, not paying dividends can increase the value of the company by retaining any profits.

  • 2
    Not paying dividends doesn't increase the value of a company. Its earnings do. Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:32
  • Well, paying dividends does reduce the value of the company, but not its shareholders (nitpicking, perhaps...)
    – D Stanley
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:59
  • Not decreasing does not mean increasing :->) Commented May 15, 2021 at 18:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .