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PXP Declares 6% Special Dividend

Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP) announced that PXP’s Board of Directors has declared a special one-time cash dividend of $3.00 per share, payable to PXP stockholders as of May 30, 2013, the dividend record date.  The dividend is conditioned upon and will be paid immediately prior to or upon the completion of PXP’s merger with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) . The merger is expected to close on May 31, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of all conditions to closing.

The special dividend has a current dividend yield of 6.13% based on the most recent PXP closing price.

Meanwhile, Freeport-McMoRan’s board intends to declare a supplemental$1dividend immediately following the closing of its Plains acquisition.  The FCX dividend has a current dividend yield of 3.3%.

Plains Exploration & Production Co.’s shareholders Monday (5/20/2013) approved a $ 6.5 billion merger with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., overcoming earlier pressure to reject the deal.

The deal gives Phoenix-based mining company Freeport-McMoRan sizeable assets in the booming U.S. oil and natural gas production business. But market analysts questioned whether the companies could successfully merge two disparate businesses and wondered if Plains Exploration shareholders sold their stakes too cheaply.

Possible shareholder jitters forced Plains Exploration to sweeten the deal earlier Monday by announcing a special dividend of$3a share if the acquisition went through.

Plains Exploration’s dividend was “understandable as pressure had been mounting in recent weeks to vote against the deal,” said analysts with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

Freeport-McMoRan agreed in December to pay the cash-and-stock equivalent of$ 50a share for Plains Exploration, while also unveiling plans to acquire McMoRan Exploration Co. (MMR) for$3.4 billionin cash.

Freeport-McMoRan’s intentions to acquire the two oil explorers came under fire from investors who say the tie-up is riddled with conflicts of interest as six directors will have overlapping roles at Freeport and McMoRan. At the same time, Freeport shares have declined sharply since the offer was unveiled in December. But Freeport said earlier this month it wouldn’t increase its offer, ending speculation the deal might be boosted.

Plains on Monday said the special dividend will be paid immediately prior to the completion of its merger with Freeport-McMoRan, which has also approved the payout.

Freeport-McMoRan also said it plans to complete$1.5 billionin asset sales from the combined company and will reduce its capital-spending plans.

PXP is an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the activities of acquiring, developing, exploring and producing oil and gas in California, Texas, Louisiana and the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. PXP is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Diamond Offshore Declares Special Dividend

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (DO), the world’s fourth-biggest offshore driller by market value, reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as contract drilling expenses fell.  The company rewarded investors with a special dividend payment.

On February 5, 2013 the board of directors at Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (DO) approved a dividend of $0.75 per share and a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share.  The combined special and quarterly dividends are a one-time yield of 1.2%.  Both dividends are payable on March 1, 2013 to shareholders of record on February 19, 2013.

Diamond Offshore Drilling reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $156 million, or $1.12 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $188 million, or $1.36 per share on a diluted basis, in the same period a year earlier. Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $751 million, compared with revenues of $748 million in the prior-year quarter.

For the full-year 2012, the Company reported net income of$720 million, or$5.18per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of$963 million, or$6.92per share on a diluted basis, in 2011. Revenues for the full-year 2012 were$2.987 billion, compared with$3.322 billionin 2011.

Diamond Offshore has great financial discipline, which is one of the best in the industry.  The company is also looking to increase its footprint in the emerging markets (like Brazil and West Africa) to reap benefits from the recently discovered deepwater fields. Further, improving activity in North Sea positions the company well. Diamond Offshore exhibits long-term earnings growth visibility based on its strong leverage to the offshore deepwater drilling market.

Diamond is expanding its ultra deepwater leverage through the construction of three drillships.  The company placed an order for its fourth ultra-deepwater drillship Ocean BlackLion, which is believed to be valuably utilized in the ultra-deepwater markets.  It is due for delivery by the fourth quarter of 2014. The increasing demand in regions of West Africa and North Sea is likely to benefit the existing fleet along with the newbuilds as they may be contracted at higher dayrates.

Diamond Offshore Drilling added 13 new contracts during the third quarter that augmented the Company’s revenue immensely and boosted contract drilling backlog by 12.1 rig-years.  This will provide sound earnings and cash flow visibility for years to come and be further strengthened by the company’s increasing focus on Brazil and the North Sea.  A combination of upgrades and new construction has been a long-term strategy and has allowed it to become a major in the industry.

Diamond Offshore Drilling has a 12-month price target of $80.

mREIT Update – High Yield and a Special Dividend

Investors have long been attracted to the high yields of mortgage REITs, which currently averages around 13 percent, nearly 7 times the average dividend yield of the S&P 500. The Fed’s announcement has caused drops in spreads, bond yields and homeowner’s borrowing costs, and as a result company’s earnings and dividends have been under pressure.

This will have a big impact on reinvestment for mREITs with low prepay protection.  November’s prepayment report showed a decline in overall prepayment speeds, but lower coupon speeds increased in the month. We continue to favor the mortgage REITs with prepay protected portfolios as they will have more stable cash flows from lower reinvestment needs. AGNC, AMTG, ARR, IVR, MTGE, and TWO have the lowest and most stable prepays in the sector.

Prepayment speeds on 30-year conventional speeds decreased 8% in November from the prior month, which was generally in line with expectations. Speeds on 3.5s rebounded potentially attributable to accelerated closing ahead of g-fee increases, rate relocks post September QE3 rally and closing delays due to Super Storm Sandy. The increase in 15-year speeds was in line with expectations.

The mortgage REITs are currently at a 7% discount to estimated fourth quarter book value and yielding 13.2%. Agency-only mortgage REITs are trading at a 7% discount to the hybrid peers.

While we continue to prefer the flexibility that hybrids have to invest across the entire mortgage universe, we see the Agency-only REITs offering better relative value today given the valuation discount. Trading at a discount to book value AGNC is our top pick; CYS and ARR also provide attractive relative value given current discounts to book.

The Board of Directors of CYS Investments, Inc. (CYS) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share of common stock for the fourth quarter of 2012, as well as a special dividend of $0.52 per share of common stock. The Company is making the special dividend to distribute the remaining REIT taxable income earned during 2012. These dividends will be paid on December 28, 2012 to common stock stockholders of record on December 21, 2012.  The company currently pays an annual dividend of$1.60 per share for a yield of around 12.3%.  CYS is trading at 87% of estimated book value.

American Capital Agency Corporation (AGNC) pays an annual dividend of five dollars per share for a yield of around 16.2%. The company invests in residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by government-sponsored entities or by the United States government agency.  AGNC is trading at 95% of estimated book value.  American Capital Agency Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million of its outstanding shares of common stock through December 31, 2013.

ARMOUR Residential REIT (ARR) invests primarily in residential mortgage backed securities issued or guaranteed by a United States Government-chartered entity, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Administration, a United States Government corporation (Ginnie Mae). The company currently pays an annual dividend of$1.08 per share for a yield of around 15.5%.  ARR is trading at 91% of estimated book value.

Complete List of Special Dividends

More companies have unveiled a special dividend or accelerated dividend payout, as they have sought to avoid potentially higher taxes next year amid heated “fiscal cliff” deliberations inWashington.

In January, $500 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts–dubbed the “fiscal cliff”–will begin if Congress and the White House don’t intervene. Dozens of companies already have moved their quarterly dividend payouts to December instead of early 2013 to avoid possible higher taxes, while others have approved one-time special dividend payments for December.

Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISSC) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend in the amount of $1.50 per share. The dividend will be payable on or about December 27, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 17, 2012. The dividend yield is 35.8%.

SEACOR Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CKH) announced that its Board of Directors declared a Special Dividend of $5.00 per common share. The Special Dividend is payable to shareholders of record on December 17, 2012, and is expected to be paid on or about December 26, 2012. The Company expects that its common stock will trade ex-dividend beginning on December 12, 2012. The dividend yield is 5.6%.

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) , an automated global electronic broker and market maker, announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share on the Company’s outstanding shares of common stock. The dividend is payable on December 28, 2012 to shareholders of record as of December 21, 2012.  The dividend yield is 6.6%.

Kforce Inc. (NASDAQ: KFRC) , a provider of professional staffing services and solutions, announced that the Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend on Kforce common stock of $1.00 per share, payable December 27, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business onDecember 17, 2012. The dividend yield is 7.7%.

Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (NYSE: HY) today announced that the Board of Directors declared a one-time special cash dividend of $2.00per share, and authorized a stock repurchase program for up to a total of $50 million of shares of the Company’s Class A Common Stock. The dividends are payable on both the Class A and Class B Common Stock, and will be paidDecember 27, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 4.5%.

Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) a leading retailer of value-priced footwear and accessories, announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend and a special cash dividend.  The quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share and the special cash dividend of $1.00 per share will be paid on December 28, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 4.85%.

Abaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABAX) , a medical products company manufacturing point-of-care blood analysis systems, today announced that its Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share on its outstanding common stock.  The dividend will be payable on December 28, 2012 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on December 17, 2012. The dividend yield is 2.7%.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. (NASDAQ: BAGL) said it has completed its strategic review process by recapitalizing the company and issued a special dividend of $4 a share.  The special dividend is payable on Dec. 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17 and will cost the company about $68 million.  The dividend yield is 25.33%.

Geo Group Inc.’s (NYSE: GEO) board has authorized a special per-share dividend of $5.68 will cost GEO about $350 million and will be paid onDec. 31 to shareholders of record on Dec. 12. Shareholders can choose to receive the payment in cash–the amount of which is subject to a lottery–or common stock.  The dividend yield is 19.3%.

P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTSI) today announced its Board of Directors has approved a special one-time dividend of$1.00 per share. The dividend is payable on December 28, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 10.98%.

HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCA) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share to be paid to shareholders of record as of December 17, 2012 with a payment date of December 21, 2012. The dividend yield is 6.02%.

McGraw-Hill Cos.’s (NYSE: MHP) board approved a special dividend of $2.50 a share, to be paid Dec. 27. The special dividend, which will cost the company about $ 694 million, supersedes its previously disclosed plans to repurchase up to $200 million of stock during the remainder of the year.  The dividend yield is 4.61%.

Tree.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: TREE) the parent company of wholly owned subsidiary LendingTree, LLC, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share.  The $1.00 special cash dividend is payable on December 26, 2012 to shareholders of record on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 6.1%.

The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per common share and has accelerated the next two regular quarterly cash dividend payments totaling $0.17 per common share. The dividends are payable on December 28, 2012 to shareholders of record on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 9.9%.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share payable December 28, 2012 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on December 17, 2012.  The dividend yield is 1.54%.

Heico Corp. (NYSE: HEI), an aircraft parts and repair company, boosted its previously unveiled special dividend by $1, to $2.14 a share–now costing the company about $114 million. The payment has been scheduled around Dec. 31.  The dividend yield is 5.2%.

Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: CFFN) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a True Blue® dividend of $0.52 per share on outstanding CFFN common stock.  The cash dividend will be paid on December 28, 2012 to holders of record on December 21, 2012.  With this dividend, the Company will have paid cash dividends of $1.00 per share in calendar year 2012.  The special dividend yield is 4.4%.

Harte-Hanks, Inc. (NYSE: HHS) today reported that its board of directors has declared a cash dividend of 8.5 cents per share payable on December 28, 2012, to the holders of record of shares of common stock of the company at the close of business on December 17, 2012. This dividend is a one-time acceleration of the regular quarterly dividend the company would have ordinarily declared and paid in the first quarter of 2013; the company does not anticipate paying a dividend in the first quarter of 2013.  The special dividend yield is 6.2%.

Diamond Hill Investment Group, Inc.  (NASDAQ: DHIL) announced that its board of directors has approved an $8.00 per share special cash dividend to shareholders of record on December 17, 2012 payable December 21, 2012.  The company will finalize tax characterization of the dividend in February 2013 and expects a portion will be return of capital.  The special dividend yield is 10.3%.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.’s (NYSE: DKS) board approved a special dividend of $2 a share for the company’s common stock and Class B shares, in addition to its previously announced regular quarterly dividend. Both payouts to shareholders are set for Dec. 28. The retailer’s special dividend is expected to cost a combined $245.3 million.  The special dividend yield is 3.9%.

The ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE: PRA) Board of Directors has authorized a 2-for-1 stock split. Following the split, shareholders will also receive a special dividend of $2.50 per common share and a regular dividend of $0.25 per common share.  The special and regular dividend yield is 2.96%.

ePlus inc. (NASDAQ: PLUS) , a leading provider of technology solutions, announced that on December 4, 2012, its Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend on ePlus common stock of $2.50 per share. The special dividend will be paid on or around December 26, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 17, 2012.  The special dividend yield is 6.3%.

RCM Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCMT) announced that its Board of Directors declared a one-time special cash dividend (the “Dividend”) of $1.00 per share, payable on December 27, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 20, 2012.  The special dividend yield is 17.5%.

New Special Dividends from DDS, SLI and LVS

Dillard’s, Inc. (NYSE: DDS) announced that the Board of Directors declared a regular, quarterly cash dividend of$0.05 per share as well as a special, one-time cash dividend of $5.00 per share.  Both dividends are payable on the Class A and Class B Common Stock of the Company on December 21, 2012 to shareholders of record as of December 7, 2012.  The dividends combine for a yield of 5.9%.

DDS has an equity summary score of 7.6 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

SL INDUSTRIES, INC. (NYSE: SLI) announced that its board of directors declared a cash dividend of $2.00per share of Common Stock outstanding, payable in cash on December 17, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 6, 2012. The dividend yield is 11.6%.

SLI has an equity summary score of 9.3 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s (NYSE: LVS) board has approved a special dividend of $2.75 a share, as the casino operator looks to boost shareholder returns.  The dividend will be paid on Dec. 18 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 10 and will cost the company about $2.26 billion.

LVS has an equity summary score of 1.6 out of 10 for a Bearish outlook.

List of 8 Special Dividend Offers Before Year End Tax Changes

Given the potential significant increases in tax rates on dividends beginning next year, and their strong levels of capital, it is an opportune time for many companies to provide special dividend distributions to their shareholders before the end of the year.  While most companies are sitting on higher levels of cash than in years past, it is becoming the common thing to pass more dividends to their shareholders before yearend.  Here is a list of notable special dividends being offered to shareholders over the past week.

On October 30, 2012, Select Medical (NYSE: SEM)‘s board of directors declared a special cash dividend of $1.50 per share, totaling approximately $210.8 million.  This special cash dividend will be paid on or about December 12, 2012 to all stockholders of record at the close of business on December 5, 2012. The special dividend has a current yield of 13%.

“The dividend allows us to return capital to stockholders without diminishing our ability to pursue investment and acquisition opportunities,” stated Robert A. Ortenzio, Select Medical’s Chief Executive Officer. The dividend is expected to be funded with cash on hand and borrowings under Select Medical’s existing revolving credit facility.  Select Medical (SEM) anticipates using approximately $100.0 million of available cash on hand toward the funding of the dividend.  Select Medical’s leverage ratio (total debt to Adjusted EBITDA) at September 30, 2012 was 3.35, compared to 3.62 at December 31, 2011.

Select Medical has an equity summary score of 9.6 out of 10 for a VERY BULLISH outlook.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) says its board has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share and a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share on the company’s Class A and Class B common stock. The dividends are payable on December 14, 2012, to the holders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012.

 

The combined dividend is a yield of 9.25%. Sinclair Broadcast has an equity summary score of 9.9 out of 10 for a VERY BULLISH outlook.

 

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) announced that its Board of Directors approved a 5% stock dividend payable on December 17, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012. Commerce Bancshares closed at $38.38.  This makes the 5% stock dividend worth $1.92 in current stock value.

For beginners, Commerce Bancshares is offering .05 shares of stock for each 1 share owned by the investor (this excludes fractional shares).  For example, an investor holding 100 shares of CBSH will receive an additional 5 shares for their 5% stock dividend.

Also the Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share on the company’s common stock and also authorized a special cash dividend of $1.50 per share.  This is a combined cash yield of 4.51% for the special and regular dividends.

Both dividend payments will be payable December 17 to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012. The dividend will not be payable on any shares to be issued pursuant to the 5% stock dividend also declared on this date.

Commerce Bancshares has an equity summary score of 7.6 out of 10 for a BULLISH outlook.

HollyFrontier Corp.’s (NYSE: HFC) Board of Directors approved a 33% increase in its regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.20 per share from the current rate of $0.15 per share. The regular dividend will be paid on December 21, 2012 to holders of record of common stock on December 10, 2012.

The company also announced today a special cash dividend in the amount of $0.50 per share. The special dividend will be paid on November 30, 2012 to holders of record of common stock on November 15, 2012.

HFC is trading at $37.72 making the combined dividend payout with a yield of 1.86%.  HollyFrontier Corp has an equity summary score of 9.7 out of 10 for a VERY BULLISH outlook.

Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI)  announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share, payable onDecember 11, 2012 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on November 27, 2012.  The special dividend is a yield of 4.5%.

The payout for the special $1.00 per share cash dividend announced today is expected to be about $57.2 million, based on the current shares outstanding, and will be reflected in the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2012 financial statements.  The special dividend payout represents only a portion of the company’s cash reserves, which the Board believes is sufficient to cover operational needs, and fund continued research and development investments and strategic initiatives.

Masimo has an equity summary score of 6.9 out of 10 for a NEUTRAL outlook.

Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTE) announced that the Board of Directors declared a special one-time dividend of $1.00 per share to be paid on December 12, 2012 to shareholders of record as of November 20, 2012. The special dividend is a yield of 11.1%. Astec Industries has an equity summary score of 2.6 out of 10 for a BEARISH outlook.

Commenting on the declaration of the Astec dividend, Dr. Brock said, “We have maintained a strong balance sheet for several years but have not found the right acquisitions in which to invest our excess cash.  While acquisitions are still a high priority for us, the Board of Directors decided to declare a special one-time dividend as a tangible return of value to our shareholders while the tax rates are still advantageous.”

On November 1, 2012 the board of directors at Universal American Corp (NYSE: UAM) approved a dividend of 1.00 per share. The dividend is payable on November 19, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 12, 2012.  The special dividend is a yield of 11.1%. Universal American has an equity summary score of 2.6 out of 10 for a BEARISH outlook.

The Board of Directors of RGC Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGCO) declared a special dividend of$1.00 per share on the Company’s common stock. The dividend will be paid on December 17, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 30, 2012.  The special dividend is a yield of 5.5%. RGC Resources has an equity summary score of 1.9 out of 10 for a BEARISH outlook.

The House offers an $8.00 Special Dividend

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) announced today that the Company has approved an $8.00 cash dividend, which includes the $0.50 per common share quarterly dividend. This dividend will be payable on November 20, 2012, to stockholders of record on November 7, 2012 and the stock will begin to trade ex-dividend on November 5, 2012.  Wynn has a current dividend yield of 1.79%.  The $8.00 special dividend is a yield of 6.7%.

Additionally, the Company plans on increasing its quarterly dividend to $1.00 per share in 2013.

Net revenues for the third quarter of 2012 were $1,298.5 million, compared to $1,298.3 millionin the third quarter of 2011. Adjusted property EBITDA  was $402.6 million for the third quarter of 2012, compared to $381.1 million in the third quarter last year, as Wynn Las Vegas’ EBITDA increased $25.3 million.

Long-term growth potential of the Macau market remains solid. We also remain encouraged by the company s strong brand name, healthy balance sheet, strong cash flow position, relatively low capital requirements and its ability to perform in a difficult operating environment.

Wynn Resorts has an equity summary score of 7.3 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

2 More Special Dividend Offerings from Bullish Companies

HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA) announced today that it intends, subject to applicable legal and contractual restrictions, to declare and pay a special cash dividend of $2.50 per share to stockholders during the fourth quarter of 2012.   With the stock trading at $31.88, the special dividend will be a 7.85% dividend yield.

HCA anticipates revenues for the third quarter will approximate $8.062 billion, compared to $7.258 billion in the third quarter of 2011.  Net income attributable to HCA Holdings, Inc. for the third quarter of 2012 is anticipated to be approximately $360 million, compared to $61 million in the third quarter of 2011.  Earnings per share (EPS) is estimated to be $0.78 for the third quarter of 2012 compared to $0.11 per share in the third quarter of 2011.

HCA has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.  HCA has a 12-month target price of $38.

 

Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) declared a $500 million special dividend and a stock repurchase plan of up to $1 billion. It plans to pay the special $2.50 dividend on, or about, Dec. 3, to shareholders of record as of Nov. 16. With the stock trading at $59.00, the special dividend will be a 4.24% dividend yield.

Murphy Oil Corp.’s board approved the spinoff of its U.S. downstream unit, Murphy Oil USA Inc., as the company intends to focus on exploration and production activities in the U.S.,Canada and Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Murphy Oil said it was meeting with Third Point LLC–a hedge fund run by Dan Loeb that had accumulated a “significant stake” and had recently filed for regulatory approval to increase that position, if it desired.

Third Point had spelled out a four-step process for the energy company that included a spinoff of the retail business, selling its Canadian Natural Gas assets, completely exiting the U.K. refining business and selling its 5% stake in Syncrude oil sands projects.

Murphy Oil said it expects to complete the spinoff of Murphy USA in 2013.  Murphy USA’s business will consist of retail marketing of petroleum products, a chain of retail gasoline stations, seven product distribution terminals and two ethanol production facilities inNorth Dakota and Texas.

Murphy Oil has an equity summary score of 8.3 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  Murphy Oil has a 12-month target price of $63.60.

Iron Mountain to Pay a 11.7% Special Dividend

Iron Mountain (IRM) announced that it will give shareholders a special dividend of $700 million, or about$4.07 a share, in connection with its plan to convert to a real-estate investment trust.  This is a 11.7% dividend yield.

The dividend is an initial distribution that satisfies a requirement that Iron Mountain pay shareholders its accumulated earnings and profits of about $1 billion to $1.5 billion in connection with its potential conversion to a REIT. The conversion is expected to occur no sooner than the beginning of 2014.

The special dividend is payable on Nov. 21 to shareholders of record on Oct. 22. Shareholders can receive payment of the special dividend in stock or in cash totaling up to $140 million, or 20% of the total distribution.

“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in our plan to convert to a REIT,” saidRichard Reese, Iron Mountain’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Iron Mountain is a great business with high returns and strong cash flow driven by consistent financial performance. This special dividend is consistent with our previous commitment to increase shareholder payouts, and our operating as a REIT will further enhance our ability to generate attractive total returns for our stockholders.”

Inteliquent Offers a 33% Special Dividend

Inteliquent (NASDAQ: IQNT), a leading provider of global interconnection and interoperability solutions, today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special one-time cash dividend of $3.00 per share, or approximately $97 million in the aggregate. The dividend will be funded with available cash on hand.

The payment date for the special one-time cash dividend is October 30, 2012. At $3.00 per share, the dividend represents approximately 33% of the Company’s closing stock price onOctober 3, 2012.

First Call analysts have a consensus Hold recommendation with a 2.9 stock rating.  The mean 12-month price target is $13.

Recently, Inteliquent announced certain changes to its management team.  Surendra Saboo, the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, informed the Company of his decision to step down as President and Chief Operating Officer effectiveOctober 1, 2012.  In addition, Robert M. Junkroski, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, informed the Company of his decision to step down as Chief Financial Officer effectiveOctober 1, 2012. It is anticipated that Dr. Saboo and Mr. Junkroski will remain employed with the Company until November 1, 2012 to assist with the transition of their responsibilities.

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