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A non-recurring dividend that a company may choose to distribute to shareholders after a particularly profitable period. A company may also choose to distribute special dividends if it wishes to restructure its financing from equity-based to debt-based. In general, however, one may think of a special dividend as a "bonus" for shareholders in good times. It is also called an extra dividend or a bonus dividend.
A nonrecurring additional payment to stockholders that is brought about by special circumstances. An extra dividend may be issued when a firm in a cyclical industry has an especially profitable period and wishes to distribute some extra funds to its stockholders. Also called extra, special dividend.