Salem Communications joins dividend payers


Salem Communications Corporation has paid out special dividends a couple of time in the past to its shareholders. Now it is becoming one of the few publicly traded radio companies to pay a regular quarterly cash dividend.

Salem announced after the stock market closed Thursday (3/8) that its board of directors has authorized and declared a quarterly dividend in the amount of three and a half cents per share for its Class A and Class B common stock.

The initial quarterly cash dividend of $0.035 per share will be paid on March 30, 2012 to all common stockholders of record as of March 23, 2012. Salem said it anticipates paying the quarterly dividends in March, June, September and December of each year. Based on the number of shares currently outstanding, the company expects to pay a total annual dividend of $3.4 million.

“We are pleased to be in a position where we can begin to return a portion of our free cash flow to our shareholders on a regular basis while continuing to systematically reduce our debt. This recurring dividend demonstrates our confidence in our resilient business model and our ability to maintain strong free cash flow,” said CEO Ed Atsinger. In his conference call with analysts to discuss Q4 results Atsinger noted proudly that the dividend yield is nearly 5% at the company’s recent stock price.