Shares of Allegiant Air parent hit all-time high after special dividend announcement

Shares of Allegiant Air's parent rose to a record high Thursday after the travel company announced that it would pay a special dividend to shareholders.

The $2.50 per share would be paid on Jan. 6 to people who hold the stock on Dec. 19.

Shares, already up 33 percent this year, hit a record high of $145.21 Thursday.

Allegiant Travel Co., based in Las Vegas, announced the special dividend after the market closed Wednesday. It said the dividend will cost about $44 million.

Airlines profits and stock prices have soared in the last two years as travel demand has kept planes nearly full. Recently, the airlines have gotten a boost from lower jet fuel prices.

Allegiant Air flies travelers from secondary cities to vacation destinations such as Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida. Like Spirit Airlines, Allegiant charges low base fares but adds fees for many services, and it offers hotel rooms and rental cars. In the first nine months of the year, Allegiant earned $81.9 million, an increase of 9.5 percent over the same period last year.