Las Vegas casino supplier announces special dividend

Las Vegas-based casino supplier Gaming Partners International Corp. today announced plans to return $1.48 million to shareholders through a one-time special dividend of 18 1/4 cents per share payable Dec. 18.

The company, which makes dice, playing cards, table game layouts and other products for casinos worldwide, also announced plans approved by its board of directors to boost an existing share buyback program by 88,561 shares.

This lifts the number of shares authorized for repurchase to 400,000, or about 4.9 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.

“The board determined that it is in the stockholders’ best interests to pay a special cash dividend for 2012. The dividend...utilizes cash provided by the company’s continued profitability during 2012,” CEO Greg Gronau said in a statement. “Additionally, the increase of shares authorized under our share repurchase program provides us with the flexibility to return additional value to our stockholders. After using funds for both the dividend and the share repurchase program, we will continue to have adequate resources for future initiatives.”

With today’s announcement, GPI becomes the latest company to distribute cash to shareholders before the end of the year in advance of potential income tax hikes that could become effective next month depending on how the government deals with the potential fiscal cliff.

Last month, GPI said it earned $1.3 million, or 15 cents per share, in the third quarter, up from $477,000 or 6 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew from $13.8 million to $16.9 million.