This Time the House Pays with More Dividend Jackpots to Come

In Las Vegas, they say the house always wins. But that’s about to change. In an industry with few dividend payers, Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) is changing the paradigm.

Wynn recently announced that its board approved a $0.20 per share quarterly dividend. The first payment will be declared sometime in the first quarter of 2010 and payable in the second.

Wynn also declared a $4 a share special dividend. The stock is trading “ex-dividend” for the special distribution today, which means the payout won’t affect shareholders who buy today. (When a stock goes ex-dividend, its price drops to account for the dividend.)

If you took my advice in this IPO representing a 20% interest in its Macau properties. And Wynn’s $1.1 billion in cash, roughly $9 per share, on the balance sheet is a more than adequate buffer.

Wynn’s quarterly dividend amounts to a modest 1.2% yield. But investors who captured the special dividend boosted their yield north of 6%. Even if you missed the current special dividend, you may still have a chance at scoring an above-average yield with Wynn.

In both 2006 and 2007, Wynn issued a special $6 per share dividend. In 2008, no special dividend was paid in an effort to preserve capital given the challenges in the credit market and economy. But now that Wynn has reinstituted its year-end jackpot, the odds of a special dividend in 2010 and beyond may be in your favor.

And if Wynn’s announcement truly is the signpost of the turnaround, investors may well enjoy solid gains along with their distributions.