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Nucor raises quarterly dividend to 36.75 cents

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Nucor Corp. said Wednesday that its board approved an increase of less than 1 percent in the company's regular quarterly dividend, to 36.75 cents from 36.5 cents.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steel company will pay the dividend on Feb. 11 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31.

Unlike other companies, Nucor did not move up its quarterly payout to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

Many companies are reviewing their dividend policies now that it appears investors could soon pay higher taxes. Since 2003 investors have paid a maximum 15 percent on dividend income. But that historically low rate will expire in January unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach a compromise on taxes and government spending.

As it stands, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income in 2013, the same as wages, so rates will go up depending on which income bracket a taxpayer is in. For the highest earners, the dividend rate would jump to 43.4 percent.

Nucor shares rose 11 cents to $40.85 in afternoon trading.