Medtronic pays dividend early to beat possible tax changes

With the looming fiscal cliff, it's anyone's guess how taxes on dividends may change come 2013, so Medtronic ($MDT) is serving up a Christmas gift to its shareholders, issuing January's payment ahead of schedule.

Medtronic is handing out $0.26 per share on Dec. 28, a move designed to protect investors from any deleterious changes to the tax code next year, a company spokeswoman told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Congress is facing mandatory sweeping budget cuts if it doesn't come to an agreement by year's end, and all means of revenue generation remain on the table, including alterations to dividend taxes.

As President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) duke it out and lawmakers trade allegations of unseriousness, corporate giants such as Medtronic are getting in what they can while the terms are still certain. As the San Jose Mercury News reports, heavies like Oracle, Walmart and Campbell Soup have all moved their early 2013 payments up on the calendar, and financial data firm Markit surveyed 100 public companies to find that 38% plan to do just the same.

Meanwhile, the fiscal cliff is making for another stick in the eye of the medical device world. The industry has mounted a wide-reaching campaign to lobby Congress to repeal, or at least delay, the impending medical device tax, but many lawmakers have been too busy with Washington's budgetary hand-wringing to lend an ear.

- read Medtronic's statement
- check out the Star-Tribune story
- get more from the Mercury News

Suggested Articles

The former Fierce 15 winner’s SuperMap program was cleared to guide electrophysiologists in the treatment of stable and transient arrhythmias.

Insulet announced new agreements with Abbott and Dexcom to connect their continuous glucose monitors with its upcoming tubeless, digital insulin pump,

In an SEC filing, Baxter International disclosed that it may have overstated its income over multiple years, inflating it by about $276 million.