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Caterpillar gives shareholders a Christmas present

The list of companies accelerating their dividend payments ahead of the fiscal cliff got a little longer today, as construction machinery company Caterpillar (CAT) announced it would make its first-quarter dividend payment in December.

The 52 cents a share first-quarter dividend would have been paid out to shareholders in February, but Caterpillar decided to up the payment date to December 31 in order to save its shareholders from the expected hike in capital gains taxes next year.

Caterpillar expects that by paying out its first-quarter dividend before the end of the year, that it will effectively save its shareholders around $30 million in taxes.

So far dozens of companies have announced plans to accelerate their dividend payments, or pay out special one-time dividends in order to get money into shareholder hands before the expected tax hike next year, but the window for companies to do so is closing fast.

 

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va. His articles typically cover big-picture events and forecasting what impact they will have on the stock market. In addition to writing for Fresh Brewed Media, Michael also wrote for AOL's BloggingStocks for three years, focusing most of his attention on the energy and technology sectors.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.