CNNMoney’s La Monica: Tech Companies Should Refrain From Issuing Special Dividends

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012 12:06 PM

By Dan Weil

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Many companies are issuing special dividends this year, or moving up dividends originally scheduled for next year, in case dividend taxes go up as part of a fiscal cliff settlement or lack of one.

But technology companies should fight any urge to join the crowd, says Paul La Monica, assistant managing editor for CNNMoney

“A special dividend would do nothing more than satisfy the increasingly myopic and infantile whims of Wall Street,” he writes. "Wah! Taxes might go up. Give me a pacifier and more of your cash now!"

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

It’s not that the biggest tech companies can’t afford a major dividend payout. Apple has $120 billion of cash, Microsoft $67 billion and Cisco Systems $45 billion.

But, “If Apple, Microsoft and Cisco want to remain competitive with more nimble upstarts, they will want to use their cash wisely and invest it for the long term instead of throwing it over the fiscal cliff,” La Monica says.

Tech companies already have turned themselves into the biggest dividend payers of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

And many of the tech dividend companies are among the safest stocks in the market, such as the names above.

"There's a very high level of confidence you can take, especially in the large-cap [tech] companies," Laton Spahr, a manager of Columbia Dividend Opportunity fund, tells The Wall Street Journal.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

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