OptionsXpress to pay special cash dividend

By Reuters
Posted Nov. 29, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.

Online brokerage optionsXpress Holdings Inc. said it will return about $259 million to shareholders as special dividend payout in the absence of “value-creating” acquisition opportunities.

The dividend of $4.50 per share will be payable on Dec. 27 to shareholders of record on Dec.13, the company said in a statement.

OptionsXpress, which had stopped its dividend of 8 cents a share in April last year, had hinted at a special one-time payout before the end of the year in its third-quarter post-earnings call.

The Chicago-based brokerage firm will fund the dividend payout with a $120 million term loan and available cash.

As of Sept. 30, the company had cash and investments of about $269 million.

Shares of the company, which have risen about 8 percent since its third-quarter results in late October, were trading up 10 percent at $18.55 before the bell on Nasdaq.

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