Costco Rewards Shareholders With Big Special Dividend

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) shares made a handy gain on Tuesday after the board of directors declared a special dividend for the common stock.

Specifically, the board of directors declared a special dividend of $10 per share, payable on December 11, to shareholders of record as of the close of December 2. The aggregate payment will be roughly $4.4 billion, and it will funded through existing cash.

Compared to the most recent closing price of $379.79, this dividend offers a yield of 2.6%. Normally, Costco pays a dividend quarterly, most recently this was $0.70, but annualized this would have a dividend yield of 0.7%.

As it stands, Costco currently operates 802 warehouses, including 558 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 102 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, with many more located internationally.

Management noted that this special dividend was the fourth in eight years, and it is the latest step to reward shareholders. The strong balance sheet allows for this dividend, while preserving financial and operational flexibility to continue to grow the business globally. Notwithstanding this dividend payment, Costco easily will continue to be in a financial position to take care of its employees, enhance the value of the Costco membership and create shareholder value over the long term.

Also worth noting is that Warren Buffett completely exited his position in Costco, so he will be missing out on this nice chunk of change.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Costco stock had outperformed the broad markets with a gain of about 29% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the share price was up closer to 25%.

Costco stock traded up about 2% to $387.40 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $271.28 to $389.50. The consensus price target is $374.11.