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Sinclair Broadcast Rises on Dividend

BALTIMORE ( TheStreet) -- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI - Get Report) shares are up after declaring a special dividend of 43 cents per share in its third quarter financial report.

Despite posting a moderate earnings decline for the quarter, Sinclair announced a special dividend of 43 cents per share, or approximately $34.5 million, on all outstanding stock, payable on December 15, 2010 to holders of record on December 1, 2010.

Sinclair shares are up more than 2% today and trading above $8.

The company saw earnings fall during the third quarter, as an increase in total revenue was offset by higher expenses. For the quarter ended September 30, the company saw earnings fall 4.4% to $14.3 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $14.9 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Earnings came in slightly below analyst estimates of 21 cents a share.

Revenue was up 16.4% to $186.5 million from $160.1 million during the quarter but was offset by an increase in costs. Total operating expenses were up 4.8% to $130.4 million from $124.4 million, while expenses related to debt and financing more than doubled to $36.7 million from $16.6 million.

Revenue gains were attributed to political revenue, which spiked to $9.8 million from $1.9 million in the third quarter 2009.

"Political advertising of $9.8 million in the third quarter came in higher than expected and that trend has continued in the fourth quarter where we expect $26.8 million in political revenues," president and CEO David Smith said.
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