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Dividend Talk Sparks MGM

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM - Get Report) shot up on the Instinet premarket session after the company told investors it might pay them a special one-time dividend.

Shares of the storied movie studio were recently trading for $18.18, up $1.98, or 12%, from their Monday close. Monday night, the company issued a statement saying it was exploring several avenues for returning value to shareholders, including a special dividend that media reports have put between $6 and $9.

"In addition to the programs we have considered in the past, which have included our recent tender offer and our open market stock repurchase program, we also are exploring other alternatives, such as whether to recommend to our board a significant one-time dividend distribution to all our shareholders," the company said.

MGM, which is three-quarters owned by Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, has been grappling with a yearlong identity crisis, variously considering acquisitions including the Time Warner Entertainment assets, a going-private transaction, and a handful of mergers, according to reports. To date, nothing formal has been consummated.

The company has about 235 million shares outstanding, which would mean a $6 dividend would cost $1.4 billion.

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