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There was a famous news story from the past few years where, in addition to normal dividends, McDonald’s paid some type of large bonus (I think it was over 7 billion)? To shareholders. Though prominent in the news at the time I can find no reference to the story now. I think it was 2011, 2014, or 2017? Online searches yield nothing. Anyway...

Assuming someone here remembers the details of this, my question is how was this additional bonus different from a normal dividend? Would they only be available to holders of certain classes of stock? Is it rare that a public company would do such a thing or are companies who routinely do well known for such actions?

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You must be remembering incorrectly.

MCD's dividend history

In 2006 and 2007 they declared large dividends, but instead of quarterly, the did so at the end of the year. In 2005, the total dividend paid was .67, 2006 1.00, 2007 1.50, 2008 1.63.

Certainly there was a large increase in payouts for 2006 and 2007 but not the bonus like you are citing. Furthermore, dividends increase for subsequent years.

  • Thank you Pete. As I recall, this was something they did in addition to their normal dividends. Unless my memory is totally gone, I distinctly remember this being something additional they did for stockholders because it was such a good year. They may have called it a bonus or something? The amount was over 7 billion (?) It upset a lot of people because it happened in the middle of one of the minimum wage debates. – markaaronky Feb 19 at 19:31
  • Perhaps I misunderstood and it was that McDonald's announced an ADDITIONAL dividend (spreading 7 billion out) above and beyond what would have been the norm? I just remember the controversy re: the minimum wage dispute and this being touted as "extra". – markaaronky Feb 19 at 19:49

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