Corrections Corporation of America (
Dividend Invitation Conference
February 28, 2012 2:00 PM ET
Damon Hininger – President and CEO
Todd Mullenger – CFO
Manav Patnaik – Barclays Capital
Kevin Campbell – Avondale Partners
Kevin McVeigh – Macquarie
Todd Van Fleet – First Analysis
Emily Shanks – Barclays Capital
Tobey Sommer – SunTrust
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Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to CCA’s Dividend Initiation Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. If you need a copy of our press release, it is available on the investor page of our website at www.cca.com.
Before we begin, let me remind today’s listeners that this call contains forward-looking statements pursuant to Safe Harbor provisions of the Securities and Litigation Reform Act. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from statements made today. Factors that could cause operating and financial results to differ are described in the press release as well as our Form 10-K and other documents filed with the SEC.
This call may include discussion of non-GAAP measures. The reconciliation of the most comparable GAAP measurement is provided in today’s presentation available on the investor page of our website at www.cca.com. We are under no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events.
Participating on today’s call will be our President and CEO, Damon Hininger; and Chief Financial Officer, Todd Mullenger.
I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Hininger.
Please go ahead, sir.
Melody, thank you so much and good afternoon and welcome to our call this afternoon. In addition to Todd joining me during our call, we also have our Chairman, John Ferguson. Here in a few minutes, I’m going to walk you through the slide presentation that’s out on the web. It’s in the CCA.com website under Investor Relations, so feel free to pull that up if you haven’t already, and we’ll take a few minutes to go through the deck and then after that, we’ll open it up for Q&A.
So with that, let’s go ahead and get started and as you go into the presentation, if you would direct your focus to slide number three. That’s where we’ll start our conversation this afternoon. So let me just first say we’re very excited about our new dividend program. As the management team and the Board went through 2011, really took another hard look at other alternatives where we can create additional shareholder value. And this was partly because we knew we were going to run our course on the share repurchase program since we have restrictions in our debt agreements that limit the amount of cash that we can send out the door through either share repurchase and dividend program and that program has kind of run its course, and we’re getting close to that limitation. The conversation during 2011 was more about what additional steps can we take to increase shareholder value.
So we see this announcement as the next logical step in a very thoughtful strategy. If you think about the last few years, our company has been focused really on two main things. One is our core business, which is the adult secure solutions here in the United States where we’ve had great success over the last few years in growing and expanding but also with the share repurchase program.
As many of you know that have been investors of the company, this program has spent about $500 million or brought in about 28 million shares during that 3-year period of time at a cost basis of about $17.91. So we’ve had great success with that program, but again as we get towards the end of 2011 we knew that was going to run its course. So this led to the announcement which we did yesterday, our new dividend policy.
So as you saw in our press release, we’re intending to pay a cash quarterly dividend of about $0.20 per share or annually about $0.80, and we’re expecting to pay our first dividend in June of this year.
And the dividend supported by strong liquidity; again many of you know this already, that have been following the company, but also a strong balance sheet and also very strong cash generation. In fact, we’re trading right now at debt-to-EBITDA less than three times and not only us saying that we have a good balance sheet and liquidity, this was reinforced last summer by Moody’s which gave us an upgrade in our debt holdings; but also during this period of time as I mentioned earlier, we spent $0.5 billion on share repurchase but we didn’t have to add any additional debt to the balance sheet to achieve that success with that program.
Now as we think about our capital strategy going forward with this new policy, we’re looking at our allocation really going – really two different directions, one of which is about a third of our AFFO going towards the cash dividend and then the other two thirds going towards earnings growth, so really focusing in on our core business of adult secure solutions in the U.S.
Now, investors that have been with the company a while know that we’ve used AFFO as a measure of the company’s cash generation and this, we think is still a good measure to show the amount of cash that we are generating for dividend, but also what we can do for new investment.