How Much Could The McCains Make From Anheuser-Busch Co. Sale?

As the Wall Street Journal reported today, the McCains stand to receive a "huge payout" should they cash out in the aftermath of today's sale of Anheuser-Busch Co., the makers of Budweiser beer:

McCain, the heiress to the third-largest Anheuser distributor, owns at a minimum $1 million in the American company, according to John McCain's Senate financial disclosure forms, which don't offer any more information for large assets held by his spouse. Under the deal, she and other stockholders will get a cash payout for the stock, which is owned through her company, Hensley and Co.

But how huge a payout? Despite the limited amount of financial disclosure provided thus far, there are some other clues.

In 2006, Cindy McCain reported $283,240 in earnings from ordinary dividends on her tax return, separate from capital gains.

According to AOL, Anheuser-Busch awarded $1.13 in dividends per share over the course of that same tax year. Assuming, for the purpose of this exercise, that all of Mrs. McCain's ordinary dividend income came from Anheuser-Busch stock in 2006. Based on her tax return, that would mean she held 250,654 shares of the company.

Again, assuming she sold off no stock in the interim -- and that she didn't buy up any more after rumors of the company's sale started to spread -- we can get a rough idea of what the company's sale could be worth to the McCain family. Drum roll ...

If Cindy were to sell off the 2006-era number of shares, as estimated above, at today's $70 price, she would make $17,545,780.