Gray Television (GTN) Announces $75M Stock Buyback
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Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN) (NYSE: GTN-A) announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the Company to repurchase up to an additional $75 million of its outstanding common stock (GTN) prior to December 31, 2019.
This authorization is in addition to existing authorization for the Company to repurchase up to an aggregate of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock and Class A common stock at such times as management deems appropriate, subject to any contractual or other restrictions. As of November 4, 2016, the Company had authority to purchase 279,200 shares of our common stock and Class A common stock under the previous authorization, which did not have a termination date.
The Company previously has stated that its Board would closely review its capital allocation throughout 2016 and would consider modifications following the political election season and the conclusion of the FCC's broadcast spectrum auction. The Board decided to act at this time, however, based upon its determination that current market prices undervalue the Company's long-term value, which provides an opportunity for a return of capital to stockholders.
Gray Chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell, Jr., explained, "Reducing our debt level remains a high priority for Gray as we end this political season. But we also see this as an opportunity to provide a return of capital to our stockholders. We therefore intend to judiciously exercise our new authority to repurchase stock while keeping a close eye on our leverage. Simply put, we anticipate that the total repurchases in any year would range between 10% and 20% of our free cash flow."
The extent to which the Company repurchases its shares, the number of shares and the timing of any repurchases will depend on general market conditions, regulatory requirements, alternative investment opportunities and other considerations. The repurchase program does not require the Company to repurchase a minimum number of shares, and it may be modified, suspended or terminated at any time without prior notice. This new authorization prohibits the Company from purchasing shares directly from the Company's officers, directors, or the Gray Television, Inc. Capital Accumulation Plan (401K plan).
As of November 4, 2016, Gray has 66,285,797 shares of common stock outstanding and 6,404,862 shares of Class A common stock outstanding. Shares repurchased will be held as treasury shares and may be used for general corporate purposes including, but not limited to, satisfying obligations under our employee benefit plans and long-term incentive plan.
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