Thursday, December 6, 2012 to issue special $1 dividend

Charlotte-based announced Thursday that it will issue a special $1-per-share dividend to stockholders later this month.

Though the company did not mention the "fiscal cliff," it's joining a growing number of companies issuing dividends to shareholders ahead of the automatic package of spending cuts and tax increases -- including a dividend tax hike -- set to kick in at the end of the year.

Charlotte's Cato Corp. announced earlier this week that it would issue a special dividend as well.

Tree is the parent company of online mortgage service LendingTree and other comparison sites.

The dividend will be payable Dec. 26. Judging by the current number of shares outstanding, it will cost the company $11.5 million.