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Quad/Graphics declares $2 special dividend

SUSSEX, Wis. (AP) -- Shares of printing company Quad/Graphics Inc. popped on Friday after it declared a $2 special dividend, to be paid later this month, and raised its quarterly payout by 20 percent.

Many companies have declared special year-end dividends or moved planned dividend payments into late 2012 from early 2013 to shield investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income.

Quad/Graphics will pay the $2 dividend Dec. 28 to shareholders of record on Dec. 24.

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.

The increase in the regular quarterly dividend, to 30 cents from 25 cents, will start in the first quarter of 2013.

Shares of the Sussex, Wis., company rose $2.78, or 17 percent, to $19.49 in afternoon trading.