HCA offers cash dividend of $2.50 per share

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hospital operator HCA Holdings, Inc. said Tuesday that it would pay a special cash dividend of $2.50 per share next month.

Based on the company's outstanding shares, the dividend will cost about $1.1 billion.

The nation's biggest hospital operator had said earlier this month that it was planning the dividend, as it announced that its third-quarter results would come in slightly below analysts' expectations.

The dividend is payable on Nov. 16 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 2. It will be funded with borrowing from credit facilities, but the company said it would have only a "modest" effect on its debt levels and would also not affect its ability to keep investing and making acquisitions.

Shares of HCA rose 36 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $30 in after-hours trading. Shares ended down $1.11, or 3.6 percent, at $29.64 in regular trading. News of the dividend was released after the markets closed on Tuesday.