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The yahoo finance package (yfinance) in python is very nice, and for example:

msft = yf.ticker('MSFT')
msft.dividends

Will give the time series of historical ex-div dates for (in this case) MSFT. But what it does NOT give is the upcoming ex-div dates - obviously if some strategy requires doing something different on that date, it helps to know when the something different will happen. Any suggestion on where to find this data?

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? What data sources are available online? $\endgroup$
    – Alper
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 1:43
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is a duplicate, The issue is the (non--)existence of the data, not available sources. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DimitriVulis precisely. In fact, it is certainly true that Bloomberg has that information, and maybe even the yahoo finance portal, but there is no obvious API to get it from the latter (and paying $3K a month for the former seems a little wasteful) $\endgroup$
    – Igor Rivin
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Bloomberg has projected ex-dates for dividends that have not been announced yet? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ No, just the announced ones, of course. As long as this has some lead times, I will take it. $\endgroup$
    – Igor Rivin
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 13:25

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This is a US-specific answer. other countries may differ.

For preferred equity, the dividend dates are hardcoded in the prospectus, like for a bond.

But for common equity, there is no obligation to pay any dividends. Once the board votes to pay a dividend on a certain date, to shareholders of record on a certain date, the company must pay. Boards usually try to follow some regular and predicatable schedule, because shareholders appreciate those. But they're not obligated to.

For example, looking at Ashland common equity on Yahoo Finance on November 25, 2022, I see:

enter image description here

Here November 30, 2022 is the ex-date of a dividend that has been announced but not yet paid. This is the only future ex-date data. The ex-date of the next dividend after this one is not and will not be data until it is announced by the board. On November 30, 2022, this ex-date will become historical, and there will be no data until the next dividend is voted by the board.

Likewise for Microsoft November 16, 2022, is the latest data that exists as of this writing.

Of course you can look at the historical data https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/stocks/ash/dividend-history

enter image description here

and assume that the dates will follow the same pattern, but it's just an assumption. Also nothing prevents the board from announcing an extraordinary dividend on some arbitrary date in between if they ever want to. Avoid basing anything on these assumptions, bur rather wait for the actual data to show up.

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    $\begingroup$ Over time, many companies have varied their "quarterly" dividends ex-dividend date by up as much as 3.5 weeks either side of past times. Furthermore, any changes in fiscal year boundaries by the company will change the dividend dates. Some companies will provide future dividend guidance in their news announcements, but the SEC has no structured way of recording such guidance (and such guidance is subject to change - as happend during the Covid period for many stocks). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 0:16

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