It's December. Have you gotten your big one-time dividend check yet?

A lot of companies are declaring beefy distributions, hoping to return money to their stakeholders while qualified dividends are taxed at no more than 15%. Rates are likely to head higher come 2013, possibly nearly tripling for high-income earners.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) got in on the jackpot, declaring a special payout of $2.75 a share that will go out later this month. The move will set the casino operator back more than $2.2 billion. Costco (NASDAQ:COST) investors will be getting even more. The warehouse club operator will mail out $3 billion to its shareholders in the form of a one-time distribution of $7 a share.

You know what's peculiar? Costco is actually borrowing $3.5 billion to pay for the $3 billion that it will make payable before the month ends.

Add it up. Between these two companies we're looking at more than $5 billion in distributions. There have also been plenty of companies -- big and small -- digging deep to take advantage of what may be the last month where dividend tax rates are conducive to long-term investors.

Maybe we won't need another stimulus plan after all? This is it!

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) posted better-than-expected quarterly results this week. Sure, a settlement infusion led the DVR pioneer to declare a large profit, but even on an adjusted basis TiVo's quarterly deficit was narrower than analysts were fearing. It's time to press the green "thumbs up" button.
  • Children's Place (NASDAQ:PLCE) found one way to smooth investors over as the kid's apparel retailer appointed a new CFO. Children's Place announced a $100 million share buyback program to ease the transition.
  • Research In Motion (NYSE:BB) was upgraded by a Goldman Sachs analyst, even though she sees the probability that next year's BlackBerry 10 rollout will be a hit at just 30%. It's still a gamble worth taking, she believes, raising her price target on the stock into the double digits.

Moving on
For many companies, successfully capitalizing on a booming Chinese economy is like winning the jackpot. That's literally the case for gaming company Las Vegas Sands, which made a big bet on Macau gaming about a decade ago that's paid off in spades. The company is now looking to spread it's empire further, but will it be able to replicate its prior successes? Learn about all these opportunities, and the risks they pose, in our brand-new premium report on Las Vegas Sands. We're providing a full year of analyst updates to go with it, so make sure to claim your copy today by clicking here.

Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Costco Wholesale and TiVo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.