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Christmas comes early for Saks shareholders

Sharing a big cash surplus left from the sale of its credit card business, retailer Saks Inc. said it's paying a special $2 a share cash dividend to stockholders.

The payout is expected to total about $284 million, based on the current level of 142 million shares outstanding.

After Saks sold its credit business to Household International, it paid down about $1.1 billion in liabilities, and still had about $300 million in cash left over, which it's now doling out to shareholders. The special dividend will be paid on May 17 to shareholders of record as of April 30.