Dividend pay dates are the dates on which stock dividends are scheduled to pay out. Each dividend date has an accompanying ex-dividend date. Stocks purchased on or before the ex-dividend date are paid on the next scheduled dividend date, while stocks purchased after are not eligible for the next payment.
Dividends are payments received by shareholders in a company, which represent a portion of that company's profits. Dividends pay out either in cash or in additional stock options from the same company. Often dividends pay out every quarter, which means that there are four dividend pay dates each year. However, some companies set biannual or annual dividend pay dates instead.