This assignment requires you to conduct an investigation into the dividend policies adopted by companies. You should prepare a report in which you:

1. Conduct a literature review into the factors that determine dividend policy. You should make reference to empirical studies and theoretical research in this area.

2. Access the published annual reports for Yell Group plc and Home Retail Group plc (these are available to download from the company websites) for the years ending 2008, 2009 and 2010 and critically discuss the factors that you consider have influenced the dividend policies of these companies over the three year period.

3. Finally, you should reflect on your findings from both your literature review and your analysis of these companies to offer conclusions as to which factors appear to be of particular importance in determining dividend policy.