I'm upset about the special dividend only being 25 cents, especially in light of the (apparently good) 4th quarter earnings. Value Line (my only source for projections on NPK) had estimated 63 cents EPS for the 4th quarter, which would have resulted in $ 1.40 EPS for the year. Since the annual EPS was $ 2.27, and EPS at 9/30 was 88 cents, it appears the 4th quarter EPS was $ 1.39. It's ridiculous that a shareholder has to figure out 4th quarter EPS in this way, but the company didn't see fit to mention the number. 17 cents of the EPS was from the LIFO reserve reversal (again, I had to calculate this for the quarter). There seems not to have been any 4th quarter charge for the pension conversion. The plant closing charge of 17 cents seems to have hit in the 4th quarter, which would offset the LIFO reversal income. Finally, 4th quarter sales were up slightly from last year, after dropping for the first 3 quarters. In all, the 4th quarter was much better than I expected, but the dividend announcement was depressing. I guess I'll hold on until the ex-date, but not for much longer.
BTW, in addition to the earnings release being terrible for not disclosing 4th quarter info, I had to laugh about the 5 month delay in holding the shareholder meeting so the company would have more time to implement the NY Stock Exchange corporate goverance rules. How many other NYSE companies have made similar announcements? I haven't noticed any, but I guess it's early yet.