Travel companies boost dividends with ‘fiscal cliff’ approaching

Carnival Corp., Las Vegas Sands and Walt Disney Co. each will pay special dividends to shareholders before the end of 2012, likely in anticipation of an expected rise in federal taxes on dividends in 2013

Carnival’s board of directors approved a special dividend of 50 cents per share on top of the company’s regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents.

CEO Micky Arison explained, “This additional dividend is in keeping with our previously stated strategy of returning excess free cash flow to shareholders. Looking forward, we remain committed to increasing shareholder returns through a combination of dividend distributions and opportune share repurchases.”

Las Vegas Sands’ special dividend is $2.75 per share, and CEO Sheldon Adelson stands to gain $1.2 billion from the payment, according to reports.

Disney will boost its annual dividend payment from 60 cents to 75 cents per share.

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