Wholesale club operator Costco plans special cash dividend totalling $7 per share

Costco says it will pay shareholders a special dividend of $7 per share next month in addition to the wholesale club operator’s regular quarterly dividend.

The Issaquah, Wash., company says the 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.

Many companies are adjusting their dividend payouts because investors may have to pay higher taxes next year.

Investors have paid a maximum 15 per cent 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.

Costco’s shares rose $4.49, or 4.7 per cent, to $101 in premarket trading.