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Costco to give rare payout

BY Marianne Wilson

In an action that reflects its strong performance, Costco Wholesale Corp. is about to return some $3.1 billion to investors.

The retailer announced a special cash dividend on Costco common stock of $7.00 per share, payable May 26, 2017, to shareholders. The dividend is in addition to a 5 cent increase of the company’s quarterly cash dividend to 50 cents a share.

The last retailer in the S&P 500 to pay a special dividend was Best Buy, which did so in February 2016, according to S&P Capital IQ, reported CNBC. And it was just 45 cents.

Costco’s total payment of approximately $3.1 billion will be funded primarily through additional borrowings, the company stated.

“Today’s announcement of a $7.00 special dividend is our latest step in returning capital to our shareholders,” said Richard Galanti, executive VP and CFO. “Our strong balance sheet and favorable access to the credit markets allow us to provide shareholders with this dividend, while preserving financial and operational flexibility to continue to grow our business globally.”

Costco currently operates 729 warehouses, including 508 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 95 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 25 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, eight in Australia and two in Spain.

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