Ahead of Tax Hike Fears, Oracle Accelerates Dividends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ahead of a proposed hike on dividend tax rates from President Obama and the White House, Oracle ( ORCL) has accelerated its upcoming dividend payments for three quarters.

According to a press release, Oracle has accelerated its second, third and fourth-quarter cash dividend totaling 18 cents per share to be payable later this month.

Oracle noted in the press release that CEO Larry Ellison, also its largest shareholder, did not participate or vote on this matter. It came straight from the board. The accelerated dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of Dec. 14, 2012, with a payment date of Dec. 21, 2012.

The accelerated dividend will be paid in lieu of dividends in 2013, as fears about the coming tax hike on dividend rates are a concern for investors. The long-term capital gains rate on dividends this year is 15%, but many fear they could be taxed as ordinary income, as Washington tries to lower the federal deficit, with tax hikes proposed as part of the solution. Many believe the tax rate on dividends will move all the way to 39.6% for the highest earners.

Oracle noted that it will next revisit its dividend policy when it announces its earnings results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. That is scheduled to end Aug. 31, 2013.

Shares of Oracle closed Monday's session higher, gaining 0.64% to $32.38.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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