Saga: Divide and prosper


Saga Communications, Inc.As it did last year, Saga Communications is offering a special cash dividend to its shareholders as 2013 winds down. But this time the face value amount is higher, and if you take an earlier share manipulation into account, it’s significantly higher.

Stockholders of record as of 12/2/13 stand to make $1.80 per share in the distribution, which is scheduled to go out 12/12/13. In all, $10.3M is expected to be paid out give or take, coming entirely from cash on the balance sheet.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker applauded the move. She said that given the 4:3 stock split back in January, the dividend amounts to a 47% increase over last year’s face value $1.65 dividend.

She extolled the virtue of Saga’s excellent debt profile which combined with its total cash on hand to make the distribution possible.

She said the company’s net leverage is an eminently manageable 0.6x. Post-dividend it will still be 0.9x.

RBR-TVBR observation: Wow — they’re doing something right over there at Saga. 0.9x leverage is a figure many broadcast companies can write on their own balance sheet only in their wildest dreams.