Beasley buying stock, suspending dividend


When a Wall Street broker-dealer reneged on a deal to buy 2,156,820 shares of Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. (BBGI), the folks at Beasley decided to make it an opportunity to acquire those shares. The company bought half and CEO George Beasley bought half.

We don’t know who the original buyer was for the December 2nd block trade, but Gabelli & Company, which got stiffed on the sale, took possession of the shares on December 9th and immediately made the sales to BBGI and Beasley. They paid a buck each for the shares, which was a good deal since the stock price has moved up since December 2nd. By the way, the investment funds managed by Mario Gabelli remain major holders of BBGI stock.

“The canceled trade of approximately 9% of the Company’s outstanding shares presented an opportunity to act under our repurchase program at a time when we believe Beasley Broadcast Group shares are undervalued. Since the inception of Beasley Broadcast Group’s repurchase program four years ago, the Company has repurchased about 2.6 million shares for a total of $13.8 million, while also allocating capital to debt reduction, station programming and HD Radio conversions, Beasley interactive initiatives and the payment of quarterly dividends. We will continue to manage the Company with the goal of actively supporting initiatives to enhance shareholder value,” said George Beasley as he announced the purchases.

Meanwhile, BBGI has joined the ranks of companies conserving cash in the current economic downturn by suspending its dividend payments. The company had previously been paying five cents per quarter, or 20 cents per year on both its Class A and Class B shares.

RBR/TVBR observation: Our previous issue noted that founding family members were showing their confidence by buying shares of Cumulus Media and Entercom. You can add Beasley to that list.