After all, any dividend paid out by December 31 will benefit from the current, low, 15% tax rate on qualified dividends. After the dawning of 2013, however, the maximum tax rate on dividends may increase to as high as 43.4% for top income earners.
Make smarter trading decisions and provide investment ideas that could help make you richer. Bryan Ashenberg does the dirty work so you don't have to!
Of course that would only happen if Congress decided, with the president's approval, to begin taxing dividends at ordinary income tax rates and applies a 3.8% surtax to pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A compromise may be reached before midnight on December 31, but no one seems certain one way or another.
So who will be the next big-time, special-dividend donor that hasn't already broken the good news? The first likely suspect may be Apple (AAPL). Talk about a strong balance sheet! AAPL can boast a $29 billion cache in total cash and absolutely no debt. They can afford to be generous with plenty left over.Another likely possibility would be ConocoPhillips (COP) which recently announced plans to sell its 8.4% interest in the Kashagan oil project in the Caspian Sea. The proceeds from the sale would be close to $5 billion and would be a big step in COP's goal to divest itself of billions of dollars of assets this year and next. COP is in the process of a three-year repositioning, "aimed at improving its balance sheet and focusing on more profitable and less risky unconventional fields in North America," according to a Wall Street Journal article on November 27. "Its plan includes $15 to $20 billion in asset disposals, large-scale share buybacks
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV