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On Thursday, KBW Inc. announced a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share for its shareholders. This dividend will be paid on December 17, 2012 to shareholders of record as of December 10, 2012.
The special dividend announcement follows the proposed strategic merger of KBW with Stifel Financial Corp. (SF - Snapshot Report), announced earlier in November 2012. Under the terms of the deal, the cash part of the merger payment will be lowered by special dividend amount.
During the announcement of the merger, shareholders of KBW were stipulated to get $17.50 per share, which included $10.00 per share in cash and $7.50 per share in Stifel common stock. Therefore, the cash portion of the merger payment now stands at $8.00 per share.
Despite sluggish third-quarter results, the company has a significant long-term upside potential. Considering its disciplined expense management initiatives, strong capital ratios and a healthy balance sheet, it can be said that KBW remains poised for long-term growth.
Further, the company's regular capital deployment activities enhance investors’ confidence in the stock. The company declared a cash dividend on the third quarter of 5 cents per share of its outstanding common stock. The dividend will be paid on December 14, 2012 to shareholders of record on December 5, 2012.
However, a sluggish macroeconomic environment remains a cause for concern. 
Among others, Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN - Analyst Report) announced a special cash dividend of $3.00 per share for its shareholders, earlier this month. This dividend will be paid on December 20, 2012, to shareholders of record as of December 6. The dividend announcement is part of Franklin’s long-term strategy to enhance shareholder value through planned capital management. The strategy also includes investment in profitable businesses while sustaining financial stability and flexibility.
KBW currently retains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating. We believe the announcement of special dividend is an appropriate step taken by the company to boost shareholders’ confidence, which might lead to positive estimate revisions. This in turn, could cause an improvement in the Zacks Rank.

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