By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 3 Oracle Corp said
it would give over $800 million back to shareholders, joining a
growing number of companies accelerating dividend payments or
declaring special dividends because of uncertainty surrounding
the U.S. government's fiscal plans.
About $600 billion of automatic tax increases and spending
cuts are scheduled to come into effect in the United States
early next year, which could include higher rates for dividends.
Congress and the White House are negotiating alternative
ways to reduce the federal budget deficit but no agreement is in
To avoid potentially higher tax bills for their investors,
companies including Costco and Wal-Mart have
either moved up scheduled payments or declared special
Oracle declared accelerated second-, third- and
fourth-quarter cash dividends totaling 18 cents per share of
outstanding common stock, equivalent to $867 million, according
to Thomson Reuters data.
In some cases, insiders are among the biggest beneficiaries
of the special payouts, as well as shifts of regular dividends
into 2012 from 2013.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the technology company's largest
shareholder, is entitled to dividends worth $198.9 million,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
Ellison did not participate in discussions or vote on the
matter, Oracle said in a statement on Monday.
The accelerated dividend will be paid to stockholders of
record as of close of business on Dec. 14, with a payment date
of Dec. 21, 2012.
Also on Monday, DISH Network Corporation declared a
non-recurring dividend of $1 per share payable on Dec. 28 to
shareholders of record as of Dec. 14.
Shares of Oracle slipped 0.40 percent in after-hours trade
after closing up 0.42 percent at $32.31.