Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) will pay a special cash dividend of $10.00 per share in 2020. Earlier this year COST already raised its quarterly dividend by 7.7 percent to $0.70 per share, marking the 16th consecutive year of dividend increases by the membership warehouses company. In 2019 Costco company hiked its dividend by 14.0 percent.
The special dividend will be payable December 11, 2020, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 2, 2020. The aggregate payment will be approximately $4.4 billion. The special dividend will be funded through existing cash, according to Costco in its press release dated November 16, 2020, announcing this special dividend payment.
In the press release Richard Galanti, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commented: “This special dividend, our fourth in eight years, is our latest step to reward shareholders. Our strong balance sheet allows us to pay this dividend, while preserving financial and operational flexibility to continue to grow our business globally. Costco will continue to be in a financial position to take care of our employees, enhance the value of the Costco membership, and create shareholder value over the long term.”
The regular annualized dividend rate of $2.80 per share yields 0.9% at a stock price of $383. The special dividend will yield an estimated 2.6% at current stock prices. Costco's regular annual dividend payment to shareholders is $1.24 billion.
Costco Wholesale Corporation operates membership warehouses, offering its members low prices on a limited selection of nationally branded and private-label products. The company has operations in the United States and Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, and Iceland and France. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan. Costco Wholesale Corporation began operations in 1983 in Seattle, Washington. In October 1993, Costco merged with The Price Company, which had pioneered the membership warehouse concept in 1976, to form Price/Costco, inc., a Delaware corporation. In 1997 the company changed its name to Costco Companies, Inc. and in 1999, the company changed its name to Costco Wholesale Corporation.