PetSmart Inc. has declared a quarterly common stock cash dividend of 16.5 cents payable before the end of the year, protecting its shareholders from potential tax increases next year.
The Phoenix-based pet retailer said late Monday that it will pay the dividend on Dec. 31 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 19. The fourth quarter dividend would normally be paid in February 2013 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 1, 2013.
PetSmart is the latest company to move up its quarterly payout or issue a special end-of-year payment to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to reach a compromise on taxes and government spending.
PetSmart shares slipped 5 cents to $70.20 in midday trading Tuesday. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $47.94 to $72.75.