Washington Post Company boosts dividend


For the second time this week, a media company has increased the dividend payment on its stock. The latest move is by the Washington Post Company, which, among other things, owns TV stations.

The company said its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the annual dividend rate on its common stock, from $8.60 to $9.00 per share.

The dividend for the first quarter of 2010, $2.25 per share, is payable on February 5th to shareholders of record on January 27, 2101. [The company initially announced the date incorrectly as January 25, 2010.]

The board has also authorized management to acquire up to 750,000 shares of its Class B common stock. The Class B shares are publicly traded, while the Class A shares are all held by the Graham family. The company did not announce a ceiling price or a time limit for the purchases. There are currently 7,971,109 Class B shares outstanding.

Just a day earlier McGraw-Hill announced a dividend boost. Its board also authorized a resumption of share buybacks.

RBR-TVBR observation: What these two companies have in common is that they receive a large portion of their revenues from units which are not dependent on advertising. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see two media companies actually increasing their dividends. The trend last year was in the opposite direction.