CenturyLink revises capital allocation strategy
Authorizes $2.0 billion stock repurchase program; reduces quarterly cash
MONROE, La., Feb. 13, 2013
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 thatfurther 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.
"We are confident that the capital allocation initiatives we announced today
willallow us to continue our investments to drive strategic revenue growth,
while maintaining our focus on creating long-term shareholder value,"
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United
States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by
technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud
infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink
provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select
international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network
and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also
offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink™ Prism™ TV and
DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500
company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest
corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.
This press release includes certain forward-looking statements. Actual
results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
Factors that could affect actual results include but are not limited to the
possibility of unforeseen near-term cash requirements, changes in the trading
price of CenturyLink's securities, changes in the Company's operating cash
flow or free cash flow, the board's complete discretion to modify or terminate
the Company's dividend practices at any time, changes in general market,
economic or industry conditions impacting the ability or willingness of the
Company to repurchase stock or modify its dividend practices, or other risks
referenced from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Due to these and other uncertainties, there can be no
assurances that (i) the Company will purchase shares in the manner or on the
schedule indicated above or at all, (ii) the board will modify our quarterly
dividend in the amount or on the schedule indicated above or (iii) the Company
will repay its outstanding debt in the manner or on the schedule indicated
above. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking
statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.
SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.
Contact: Investors, Kristina Waugh, +1-318-340-5627,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Media, Debra Peterson, +1-913-323-4881,
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