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In the news: Costco dividend, Apple firing, two earnings beats and a coup at Groupon

Leading the headlines this morning, Costco declared a big special dividend, Apple fires another maps executive, Groupon's board could oust the company's CEO and American Eagle and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters both beat analysts' earnings estimates.

Warehouse retailer Costco (COST) declared a $7 per share special dividend payable on Dec. 18 to holders of record as of Dec. 10. The payment will be in addition to the regular cash dividend declared on Oct. 30. The company also reported a 6% increase in same-store sales for November. Total sales rose by 9%.

Apple's (AAPL) poorly-executed mapping app has claimed another victim as maps supervisor Richard Williamson has been pushed out by Eddy Cue, who recently took the map software. Cue, Apple's senior vice president in charge of online services, is reported looking for advice from outside map experts as the company tries to open another front in its battle with Google (GOOG).

The board of daily-deal site Groupon (GRPN) is reportedly considering a plan to replace the company's CEO, Anderw Mason. The board is reportedly concerned that Mason is not doing a good job of turning the country around.

American Eagle Outfitters
Apparel retailer American Eagle (AEO) reported EPS of 39 cents for the third quarter on sales of $910.4 million. Analysts had expected the company to earn 39 cents per share on sales of $873.9 million. The company expects EPS of 54 to 56 cents in the fourth quarter, bracketing the mean estimate for 55 cents per share.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
The company that popularized the single-cup coffee brewer reported fiscal fourth quarter adjusted EPS of 64 cents per share on sales of $946.7 million. Analysts had expected Green Mountain (GMCR) EPS of 48 cents on sales of $902.7 million. Looking forward, the company said it expects earnings for the current fiscal year to be $2.64 to $2.74 per share, up from a previous forecast for $2.55 to $2.65 per share. Outgoing CEO Lawrence Blanford said the company has not seen any “marketplace dynamics that have caused us to think differently about our outlook for single-serve packs,” despite the expiration of the company's patent on its K-cups.

Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines is the Managing Editor of the Market Intelligence Center. He has degrees in Mass Communications and History from Emory & Henry College. Bobby worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper before making a switch to covering the financial industry full time in the years leading up to the financial crisis. He has been a member of the Fresh Brewed Media team since 2011 and has served as a writer and analyst. You can write to him at braines@marketintelligencecenter.com or follow him on Twitter: @BRatMICenter.