The board of directors of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T, news, filings) today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.45 a share on the company’s common shares. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 10, 2013.
At the same time, the board authorized the repurchase of up to 300 million shares, representing approximately 5.5 percent of AT&T common shares outstanding, with no expiration date. This authorization is in addition to two other 300 million share repurchase authorizations approved by the board of directors in December 2010 and July 2012. The company completed repurchases under the December 2010 share authorization last year.
“These actions by the board reflect our commitment to return value to our stockholders and our confidence in the future of our business. This authorization gives us the opportunity to buy back additional shares when it makes sense to do so,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we have the financial strength to invest in our future through plans such as Project VIP while maintaining a solid balance sheet.”
The company expects to maintain a net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA1 ratio of 1.8 or lower and is committed to maintaining a single-A debt rating. Future repurchase decisions will be made opportunistically, which will slow the pace of buybacks compared to recent activity.
Under the July 2012 300 million share authorization, AT&T has repurchased about 239 million of its shares through March 28, 2013. Since the company began buying back shares in 2012, AT&T has repurchased 539 million of its shares, or approximately 9 percent of shares outstanding.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
1EBITDA is earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA excludes the impact of non-operational or one-time items in order to better represent AT&T’s operational performance. Net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA is expressed as the ratio of adjusted EBITDA to net debt, which is calculated as the sum of current and long-term debt, less cash and cash equivalents. Reconciliations for EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA are provided with AT&T’s quarterly results.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.