Costco pays special 'fiscal cliff' dividend to investors

Costco is paying shareholders a special dividend of $7 per share, in addition to the regular quarterly payout the wholesaler gives investors. Costco is one of many companies making special payouts because investors may have to pay higher taxes starting in January. 

Rick Bowmer/AP/File
In this May 2012 file photo, David Lee shops at a Costco Wholesale store, in Portland, Ore. Costco is adding a special dividend to its quarterly payout to investors in anticipation of investor tax rates possibly rising in January.

Costco plans a special dividend of $7 per share next month in addition to the regular quarterly dividend the wholesale club operator pays shareholders.

The Issaquah, Wash., company said Wednesday that the special dividend will be payable Dec. 18 to shareholders of record Dec. 10. Costco Wholesale Corp.'s regular quarterly dividend of 27.5 cents per share will be paid Nov. 30 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 16.

Costco also said Wednesday that its November revenue climbed nearly 9 percent to $8.15 billion. Revenue from stores open at least a year climbed 6 percent. The increase was 5 percent excluding gains from gasoline price inflation and stronger foreign currencies.

Revenue from stores open at least a year is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Costco's shares rose 4.7 percent, or $4.49, to $101 in premarket trading.

Many companies are making special end-of-year dividend payments or moving up their quarterly payouts because investors may have to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

Investors have paid a maximum 15 percent on dividends since 2003. But that historically low rate will expire in January unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach a compromise on taxes and government spending.

As it stands, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income in 2013, the same as wages, so rates will go up depending on which income bracket a taxpayer is in. For the highest earners, the dividend rate would jump to 43.4 percent.

Even if a compromise is reached, there's no guarantee that the tax rate for dividends will remain at its current level.

Costco runs 618 warehouses in several countries, including 447 in the United States and Puerto Rico.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Costco pays special 'fiscal cliff' dividend to investors
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1128/Costco-pays-special-fiscal-cliff-dividend-to-investors
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe