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Python .replace() function doesn’t seem to do anything

I’m trying to modify a table I scraped of Yahoo Finance containing dividends over the last 5 years.

An example row of this table is: "1.50 Dividend". As I want to do calculations with this table I needed only the number in the form of a float. So I used the .replace("Dividend, "") function to remove the text part so the float() function would be able to convert it.

When doing this I’m always met with following error:

TypeError: could not convert string to float: '1.50 Dividend'

It seems like the .replace("Dividend", "") simply doesn’t do anything.

This is the code:

#Fetching Yahoo Finance dividend table (5y)
    url = f"https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/{symbol}/history?period1=1491782400&period2=1649548800&interval=capitalGain%7Cdiv%7Csplit&filter=div&frequency=1d&includeAdjustedClose=true"
    header = {   "User-Agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/50.0.2661.75 Safari/537.36",   "X-Requested-With": "XMLHttpRequest" }  
    r = requests.get(url, headers=header)  
    dfs = pd.read_html(r.text) 
    
    dividends = dfs[0]["Dividends"]
    
    dividends = dividends.head(5)
    counter = 0
    if len(dividends) > 2:
        while counter != len(dividends):
            dividend_string = dividends[counter]
            dividends[counter] = float(dividend_string.replace(" Dividend", ""))
            counter += 1
            sigma = dividends.std()
    else:
        sigma = 0
    sigma_ratio = sigma / dividends.mean()

    return sigma_ratio

I’ve tried using .replace() in a small test script and there it seems to work perfectly. I’m at the end of my rope.

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Answer

The problem it’s not in the .replace(), but in the dividends.std().

Move sigma = dividends.std() outside the while loop, right now you’re removing “Dividend” from just the first element then trying to call dividends.std() but the rest of the array still have Dividend inside.

#Fetching Yahoo Finance dividend table (5y)
    url = f"https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/{symbol}/history?period1=1491782400&period2=1649548800&interval=capitalGain%7Cdiv%7Csplit&filter=div&frequency=1d&includeAdjustedClose=true"
    header = {   "User-Agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/50.0.2661.75 Safari/537.36",   "X-Requested-With": "XMLHttpRequest" }  
    r = requests.get(url, headers=header)  
    dfs = pd.read_html(r.text) 
    
    dividends = dfs[0]["Dividends"]
    
    dividends = dividends.head(5)
    counter = 0
    if len(dividends) > 2:
        while counter != len(dividends):
            dividend_string = dividends[counter]
            dividends[counter] = float(dividend_string.replace(" Dividend", ""))
            counter += 1
        sigma = dividends.std() # <-----
    else:
        sigma = 0
    sigma_ratio = sigma / dividends.mean()

    return sigma_ratio
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