Watsco, Inc. (NYSE:WSO) (Paris: WSO) announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $5.00 per share, totaling approximately $172 million, and a quarterly cash dividend of 62 cents per share, both payable on October 31, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 15, 2012.
Watsco has paid dividends for over 35 consecutive years and has paid an increasing dividend over the last 11 years. The special dividend of $5.00 represents approximately two years of dividends based on the current annual dividend rate of $2.48 per share. The Company anticipates it will continue to pay quarterly cash dividends, but on a more moderate basis beginning in 2013, subject to the Company’s financial position, government tax policy and general economic conditions.
Albert H. Nahmad, Watsco’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer stated, “Our philosophy for sharing cash flow and the Company’s wealth through dividends continues. In particular, payment of a special dividend of this magnitude recognizes the confidence we have in our Company and our on-going capability to generate free cash flow. The convergence of our strong balance sheet, a low-cost of capital and the uncertainty of government tax policy beginning next year creates an opportunity to provide immense value to our shareholders. Our financial position will remain conservative with continued capacity to make investments in our business and build our network.”
Watsco improves indoor living and working environments with air conditioning and heating solutions that provide comfort regardless of the outdoor climate. Our solutions also promote healthier indoor spaces by removing pollutants from the indoor air that can lead to asthma, allergies and reductions in productivity. Furthermore, since heating and cooling accounts for approximately 56% of the energy consumed in a typical United States home, we offer consumers the greatest opportunity to save money on energy by replacing existing air conditioning and heating systems with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.