Albertsons Companies Inc. said Wednesday that the Washington State Court has postponed the hearing on the grocery company's proposed payment of a special dividend. The stock rose 0.5% in afternoon trading. The postponement means the temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the court remains in effect, to restrain the company from paying the $4 billion, or $6.85 per share, special dividend that was announced in October as part of the $24.6 billion deal for Kroger Co. to buy Albertsons. "Albertsons Cos. continues to believe that the claim brought by the State of Washington is meritless and provides no legal basis for canceling or postponing a dividend that has been duly and unanimously approved by Albertsons Cos.' fully informed Board of Directors," Albertsons said in a statement. The stock has tumbled 27.4% over the past three months, while Kroger shares have slipped 2.3% and the S&P 500 has lost 7.8%.
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