Tegna board authorizes new $300M share repurchase program
TEGNA announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a new share repurchase program, its first as a standalone media company, for up to $300M of its common stock over the next three years. "We are initiating our buyback program because at current market prices, we believe TEGNA's stock represents a strong buying opportunity. It is significantly undervalued relative to both its recent and expected future performance," said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. "As we outlined on our last earnings call, approximately half of our Advertising and Marketing Services revenue comes from our NBC stations, which results in a large Olympics swing in even- to odd-year revenue comparisons. Furthermore, we have a strong political advertising footprint, which further amplifies our even- to odd- year revenue comparisons. Excluding the impact of Olympics and political advertising spend, 2017 revenues will be strong on an odd-year comparable basis for both Q3 and full year." Lougee continued, "We anticipate that next year's revenue and cash flow will be particularly strong, driven by both Olympics and Super Bowl advertising, very strong political spending, as well as further ramp up of our multiple revenue initiatives. Additionally, the majority of our network agreements are negotiated through the end of the decade and beyond. That, combined with our market-leading subscriber revenues with both traditional MVPDs and OTT providers, gives us a stable, significant and growing driver of free cash flow." "As a result of our very strong growth trajectory and balance sheet, we have the ability to simultaneously make opportunistic share repurchases, reduce debt, and invest in new content and revenue initiatives, all while maintaining the capability to pursue potential significant acquisition opportunities that may develop in our sector," continued Lougee. "Today's introduction of a share repurchase program provides another tool for us to deliver shareholder value." TEGNA plans to repurchase shares in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, depending on its evaluation of market conditions, price and other factors. The stock repurchase program has no pre-established per-share purchase price and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.