Nexstar Media Group (NXST) is the largest local broadcast television company in the U.S., either owning and operating or providing services to 199 stations across 116 markets in 39 states, notes Mike Larson, editor of Safe Money Report.
Nexstar also has an expanding online content and services business it recently bulked up by purchasing the political news site, The Hill, for $130 million. Finally, it operates the NewsNation network, formerly known as WGN America.
Sales and profits have grown nicely, driven by strong advertising and distribution revenue gains. Revenue jumped 40.9% year over year in the Q2, while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 48.6%.
Management expects the strength to continue — a key reason the company hiked its full-year free cash flow forecast. Officials also boosted Nexstar’s quarterly dividend 25% to 70 cents per share. The new rate is good for an indicated yield of 1.7%.
Furthermore, the company raised share buyback authorization by another $1 billion and it’s paying down debt with spare cash generated by operations.
All of that’s pushed NXST shares into “Buy” territory with the stock earning “B-” or “B” grades from our Weiss Ratings system since March. That’s the kind of consistency I like.