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Cover
 

 

A contemporary abbreviation of the phrase 'times covered' with particular reference to company dividends. The cover for a dividend is dedetermined by the total net profit available for distribution; it is expressed as a multiple of the the amount paid out, e.g. a dividend which is three times covered means that only one third of profits available for distribution were paid out by way of dividend.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.