MONROE, La., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced that the company's board of directors has authorized certain capital allocation initiatives that further enable its strategy of investing in key drivers to stabilize and grow operating revenues.
The CenturyLink board has authorized the repurchase of up to an aggregate $2.0 billion of the company's outstanding common stock. The company expects to execute this share repurchase program primarily in open market transactions, subject to market conditions and other factors, and expects to complete the program by its scheduled termination date of February 13, 2015. CenturyLink intends to fund the share repurchase program primarily with free cash flow generated by the business.
In connection with the new repurchase program, the board also indicated its intention to revise the company's quarterly dividend rate to $0.54 from $0.725 per share. The board expects to approve this new rate at its next regularly-scheduled meeting on February 26, 2013, with the change effective with the March 2013 quarterly dividend payment.CenturyLink also expects to utilize a portion of its free cash flow generated in 2013 and 2014 to repay debt and maintain leverage at less than 3.0 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). "CenturyLink has made significant progress over the last several years in improving our top-line revenue trend," said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer and president. "We have continued to achieve strong operating revenue performance, cash flows and broadband growth, and we remain focused on enhancing long-term shareholder value. "The share repurchase program, which will be accretive to free cash flow per share, along with our very competitive cash dividend, will enable us to significantly increase the total cash returned to our shareholders in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, we are positioning the company to maintain a dividend payout ratio of less than 60 percent of free cash flow after we have fully utilized our federal income tax net operating loss carryforwards," said Post.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV