In order to enhance shareholders’ returns, The Washington Post Company (WPO), a diversified media conglomerate, announced a share repurchase program. The company stated that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 750,000 shares of its Class B common stock.
The buy-back program, which represents 10.4% of the company’s outstanding Class B shares numbering 7,235,962, did not specify the ceiling price or a time frame for the repurchase.
The new repurchase authorization includes 16,312 shares remaining under the previous authorization. Washington Post’s board on September 22, 2003, had authorized a share repurchase program of up to 542,800 shares of class B, which was then increased to 750,000 on January 21, 2010.
Washington Post also declared a regular quarterly dividend of $2.25 per share to be paid on November 5, 2010, to shareholders of record as on October 25, 2010.
Washington Post’s diversified business mix positions it to sustain growth momentum. The company’s second-quarter 2010 earnings rose 75% to $11.69 per share from the prior-year quarter, reflecting strong performance in the Education and Television Broadcasting divisions, despite registering operating losses in the Newspaper division.
The company’s role as a publisher has also shrunk as it recently completed the sale of Newsweek to Dr. Sidney Harman, who founded the audio equipment company Harman International Industries Inc. The terms of the deal announced on August 2, 2010, were not disclosed.