A dividend is a distribution of a companies profits to its shareholders. The amount of the dividend is often quoted as a percentage yield and a cash value. Typically, dividends are paid quarterly but can be paid semi-annually, annually, weekly, and, more rarely, irregularly, with no set schedule.
Here's an example of how a company may quote their dividend and what that means for you as an investor:
"HappyNest REIT targets an annualized 5% dividend, paid quarterly."
As an investor, you own 100 shares of HappyNest REIT, worth $1,000. HappyNest REIT announces a dividend payment of $0.125 per share payable to investors who have been shareholders prior to the ex-dividend date. As an investor, you will receive a total dividend payment of $12.50 (0.125x100). The $0.125 per share amounts to a 1.25% yield (0.125/10) and an annual yield of 5% (0.0125x4) if the dividend is paid quarterly.