Alaska Air Group approves $650 million share repurchase program
SEATTLE, WA - The board of directors of Alaska Air Group has approved a share repurchase program authorizing the company to buy back up to $650 million of its common stock.
SEATTLE, WA – The board of directors of Alaska Air Group has approved a share repurchase program authorizing the company to buy back up to $650 million of its common stock. This share repurchase program represents approximately 10 percent of the market capitalization of the company.
The board also approved a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share as part of Air Group’s program to be a leader in returning capital to investors. The dividend to all shareholders of record as of May 20 will be paid on June 4.
“Our growing network, low fares, outstanding operational reliability, and the award-winning service delivered by our employees are producing excellent financial results and cash flows,” Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden said. “Like other high-quality companies, we’re making value-creating investments in our business, and rewarding our owners by paying meaningful dividends and buying back our stock. We’re confident in the future of Alaska Air Group and committed to building long-term shareholder value.”
The $650 million repurchase program will begin immediately after the existing $250 million buyback is completed.
“Air Group intends to finance the dividend and stock repurchases with cash on hand and cash flow from operations,” CFO Brandon Pedersen said. “Air Group will maintain its strong cash and liquidity position and low leverage as we return capital to our owners.”
The program allows the company to repurchase its common stock using open market stock purchases, negotiated transactions or through other means, including accelerated share repurchases and 10b5-1 trading plans.
This will be Alaska’s eighth repurchase program since 2007. The company has spent $519 million buying back more than 21 million shares of its stock.
$208 million (active)
Total share repurchases (as of May 9, 2014)
Air Group began paying a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share in August 2013, the first time since 1992 that the company had paid a dividend. It was increased to 25 cents per share this past February.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves nearly 100 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.