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Costco to Pay $7 Special Dividend on December 18

U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale is to pay a special dividend of $7.00, worth a total $3.0 billion to investors, it said when posting monthly same-store sales that beat forecasts.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"Our strong balance sheet and favorable access to the credit markets allow us to provide shareholders with this dividend," chief financial officer Richard Galanti said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Nov. 19, Costco's bigger rival Wal-Mart Stores moved its planned dividend into late December from early January to help shareholders avoid a looming jump in the tax rate due to the so-called fiscal cliff.

Costco's special dividend will be paid on Dec. 18, with the record date set at Dec. 10.

November sales at Costco stores open at least a year rose 6 percent, helped by higher gasoline prices and dollar weakness, the company said. That compared with a forecast for 5.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Excluding the effects of fuel and currency, Costco posted a November same-store sales increase of 5 percent. Net sales rose 9 percent to $8.15 billion in the four weeks to Nov. 25.

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