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Movado sets 75-cent special dividend, ups guidance

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) -- Movado Group Inc. on Wednesday announced a special cash dividend, the latest in a string of companies to set one-time payments before the end of the year, and lifted its guidance for the year after a strong fiscal third quarter.

Shares rose $1.79, or 5.6 percent, to $34.02 in premarket trading.

The Paramus, N.J., company's special 75-cent dividend will be paid in December, as will its regular quarterly dividend of 5 cents.

Many companies are making special end-of-year dividend payments or moving up their quarterly payouts because investors may have to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

Investors have paid a maximum 15 percent on dividends since 2003. But that rate will expire in January, rising to as much as 43.4 percent for the highest earners, unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach a deal on taxes and government spending. Even if there is a compromise, there's no guarantee that the tax rate for dividends will remain at its current level.

Movado, which designs watches and runs stores in the U.S., also raised its adjusted profit guidance for the year ending in January to $1.50 per share from $1.40 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict earnings of $1.47 per share. The period includes the critical holiday shopping season.

The company still projects revenue of $510 million, in line with analyst expectations.

Net income in the August-October quarter more than doubled, to $34.5 million, or $1.34 per share, from $16.4 million, or 65 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The recent quarter's results included a $9.9 million tax benefit. Excluding that, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 67 cents per share. Analysts expected a profit of 61 cents per share.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $160.2 million from $142.6 million.