Nexstar Media Group‘s Board of Directors has approved a 25% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.375 per share of its Class A common stock, beginning with the dividend declared for the first quarter of 2018.
The dividend is payable on Friday, March 2 to shareholders of record on Friday, February 16.
“Our fifth consecutive annual increase in Nexstar’s cash dividend highlights the Board’s commitment to creating value for shareholders and our success over the past year integrating the Media General broadcasting and digital media properties into our platform while extracting anticipated synergies and capitalizing on the many growth opportunities throughout our portfolio,” said President/CEO Perry A. Sook. “Nexstar’s record reported financial results enabled us to take additional actions throughout the year to enhance shareholder value. Our return of capital and leverage reduction initiatives in 2017 include allocating $99.0 million to opportunistically repurchase 1.7 million shares, reducing leverage by approximately $400 million in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017, and returning approximately $55.9 million to shareholders in the form of cash dividends for the full-year.”
Sook added that the company is “highly confident in our strong forward growth prospects as we follow the successful strategies we’ve established in terms of building the top line, maintaining close control of fixed and variable costs and optimizing the balance sheet and capital structure. This plan will continue to support our goals of delivering or exceeding our free cash flow targets of approximately $574 million for the 2017/2018 cycle, while allowing us to reduce leverage, pursue additional select accretive acquisitions, pay dividends and take any other actions for the continued near- and long-term enhancement of shareholder value.
“This month Nexstar will report operating results for 2017, marking what we anticipate to be our sixth consecutive year of record financial performance. Looking ahead, we remain extremely well positioned for continued significant financial growth in 2018 given key factors including the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl on NBC, heavily contested mid-term elections and new OTT agreements, with tremendous prospects for continued growth in the future.”
While the company intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the Board of Directors at its discretion.