Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NXST) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript @themotleyfool #stocks $NXST
With our share count now at 44 million shares, we believe these actions represent approximately $25 per share of value creation. We believe this is conservative given our financial strength and the consistent execution we have exhibited. In September, we announced that the Board of Directors approved an expansion of the company’s share repurchase authorization for up to an additional $300 million, bringing the total capacity under our share repurchase program to approximately $384 million at the time. Reflecting the 1.3 million shares repurchased during the quarter, we have a remaining authorization of approximately $260 million of share repurchases. Our expanded repurchase authorization and recent repurchase activity reflects our confidence in the company’s growing free cash flow from operations and our long-term commitment to deploying capital in a manner that can enhance shareholder value. We intend to remain opportunistically aggressive in this front. In addition, the merger of Nexstar Digital, Inc — Nexstar Digital LLC into Nexstar, Inc., is estimated to increase the restricted payments capacity under the two outstanding bond issues for approximately $150 million thereby allowing for more aggressive shareholder repurchase activity in the future. Looking ahead, with the continued double-digit year-over-year growth in distribution revenue, the upturn in core and what we now expect to be approximately $480 million in political advertisement for the year with a meaningful amount to be booked in Q4, we have an excellent visibility into the strong year-end 2020.
As such, we remain committed to our dividend payments and allocating the vast majority of our free cash flow toward leverage reduction and are confident and are exceeding our target for reducing total net leverage to the high three range by 12/31/2020. While all remaining optimistic on — while always remaining optimistic on share repurchases and potentially accretive acquisitions. Nexstar has already made significant progress on our leverage reduction plan, and we enjoy a strong cash position with additional capacity under our revolver. In addition, the reduction in interest expense related to our favorable LIBOR rates operating expense savings, our capital expenditure prioritization and recent capital markets activity will also serve us well as we finish 2020 and begin 2021. Looking ahead into 2021, Q1 will be the most like any quarter in 2020 given the strength early in the year and the offset in political revenue. Q2 and three will be substantially over last — over 2020, while Q4 will again see the cyclical impact of political advertising. In summary, despite the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic, our scale, leadership and flexibility, our synergy realization and operations are generally — our operation are generally in results, while our capital structure is in great shape, with a cost of capital and maturity perspective that is favorable.