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Investment Opportunities

Special Dividend Stocks for Extra Income

Dividends are often paid out on a per-share basis as a way to reward investors. Many companies issue a regular dividend–usually quarterly. This helps supplement the money investors are pouring into shares while they wait to realize gains. Regular dividends are typically in the range of 1% to 5%. Special dividend stocks are different, though.

Some companies dealing in commodities and other established sectors pay out dividends regularly. Conversely, special dividends are non-regular dividends paid as a result of a special event or a year of unusually high earnings. These payments are usually much larger than regular, quarterly dividends.

In most cases, special dividends are a one-time payment, which means they might not be a reason for new investors to buy. However, some companies have paid out special dividends year after year, and this list will take a look at some of those companies.

  • Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq: COST)
  • American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AFG)
  • Wingstop, Inc. (Nasdaq: WING)
  • Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE: ORI)
  • Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CWH)

Special dividend stocks to buy.

Special Dividend Stocks to Watch

As each of these stocks has paid special dividends before, let’s take a look at why each of them is a special dividend stock to watch.

No. 5 Costco Wholesale Corporation

Many people love Costco for its free samples or forever cheap hot dogs, but there’s something for investors to love about Costco, too. The wholesaler also delivers for its investors and it has done so many times in the form of special dividends. In November 2020, the company announced a special cash dividend of $10 per share.

At the time, its share price was around $390 per share; it was around $375 per share at the time of the dividend, meaning the company paid around 2.6% in the form of a single dividend payment. It also paid a $7 special dividend in 2017 and a $5 special dividend in 2015. For context, the company normally pays $3.16 per year in quarterly dividends.

No. 4 American Financial Group, Inc.

American Financial Group is a financial services holding company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It primarily deals in insurance and investments through businesses such as Great American Insurance Group. It offers insurance products to individuals in the form of annuities, plus a variety of insurance products for businesses.

AFG stock pays a dividend to its investors, but recently its payments have been more frequent than they are for most businesses. For instance, it paid out dividends eight times in 2021 and five times in 2020. In fact, it has paid out dividends more than four times per year every year since 2017. In 2021, it paid out a $14 dividend in June, a $4 dividend in September, a $4 dividend in November and a $2 dividend in December. Its typical payments are more like $0.50, and its share price is around $140. In other words, those four special dividends in 2021 make up around 17% of its current share price.

No. 3 Wingstop, Inc.

Wingstop is a large fast-food chain known for its wings. It has been around for more than 20 years and today, there are over 1,500 Wingstop locations globally. The company is able to keep costs low with relatively slim operations and a low-cost product, allowing it to expand rapidly. As a result, it has been paying it forward in the form of dividends to investors.

WING pays regular dividends to investors with a yield of 0.41%. However, the company has also paid special dividends that have bolstered its total dividend payments. In late 2020, it paid a $5.14 special dividend, and in 2018 it paid a $3.05 special dividend. While it has had some shaky quarters, such as Q4 2020 when it posted losses, its revenue has consistently increased over the years.

Special Dividend Stocks No. 2 Old Republic International Corporation

Old Republic International is a property insurance, title and deed company based in Chicago, Illinois. According to its website, it is one of the 50 largest shareholder-owned insurance businesses and is also a Fortune 500 company. Overall, it is the third-largest insurance company in the country.

Old Republic (ORI) has been consistent with its dividends, too, paying four times per year. Its current dividend yield is 3.57%. It typically pays a dividend of between $0.195 and $0.22 per share, but it has also issued several special dividends. In December 2021, it paid a special dividend of $1.50 per share, and in January 2021 it paid $1 per share. It paid no special dividends in 2020, but it paid them in 2019 and 2018. These dividends are generous for a stock with a share price of around $25.

Special Dividend Stocks No. 1 Camping World Holdings, Inc.

Camping World Holdings is the largest retailer of RVs; it also sells camping equipment, boating equipment, fishing gear and other related products. Between Camping World and Good Sam, which rents out RVs, there are locations all over the United States. The company is based in Lincolnshire, Illinois.

The company’s stock, CWH, also pays a generous dividend. In fact, its dividend yield is 5.23%

That is in part due to its relatively low share price; they currently trade for less than $40. However, CWH shares typically pay a quarterly dividend of around $0.15, and they have been paying a more generous dividend lately. For instance, its last two dividend payments, in December and September 2021, were both $0.50 per share.

Its first two dividends in 2021, in March and June, were $0.23 and $0.25, respectively. And in December 2020, it paid $1 per share. In Q4 2020, its year-over-year net income was up 150% which is what allowed it to pay such a generous dividend.


Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in investing and planning for retirement. His hefty student loan burden inspired him to pay off his loans, and now he’s helping others get their finances in order. When he’s not writing, he enjoys travel and live music.

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