Dividends are cash payouts you receive as a shareholder of a company. Not all companies pay them but most do.
If a company does well and turns a profit, they can do a number of things including reinvesting in the business as well as pay some of that profit as dividends to shareholders.
Dividends are priced on a per share basis so for example here is the dividend information for Dunelm (DNLM) for the Year To 26 June 2021:
Dunelm offered three dividend payments over the course of the year. Two of them, the Interim and Special have already been paid. If I wanted to benefit from the final dividend of the year, I would have to buy the share by close of business on 27 October 2021.
This Final dividend is 23.00p per share. If, I bought 10 shares at the above price, I would be entitled to £2.30 in dividends which would be paid to me on 19 November 2021.
I’m not much of a dividend investor. I prefer to invest for growth as opposed to income. One thing to note however, even though I don’t pay much attention to dividends, is to be aware of the ex-dividend dates of the shares I hold as on the ex-date, the share price will be adjusted down by the dividend amount. So for example, with Dunelm, I should expect that on 28 October the share price begins the day trading at 23.00p lower than its previous close.
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