The WWE issued the following press release today:
WWE Announces Revised Dividend Policy
Adjusts Quarterly Dividend to $0.12 per share
STAMFORD, Conn.-- WWE (NYSE:WWE) today announced a revised dividend policy to enhance the Company's financial flexibility and support the "New WWE" initiative. Beginning in June of 2011, the Company's quarterly dividend will be adjusted to $0.12 per share of common stock held by the Company's Class A public shareholders. Members of the McMahon family will also receive dividends in the revised per share amount and, as a result, all Class A and Class B shares will receive dividends in the amount of $0.12 per share.
"Our Board of Directors has determined that an adjustment to the current dividend is both prudent and appropriate," stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe this change strikes the right balance between returning capital to shareholders and investing in our future. We are confident that WWE is ideally positioned to create long term value for our shareholders."
"The Company's revised quarterly dividend was set based on targeted ranges for payout ratios and liquidity levels," stated George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer. "Aligning payouts with our current level of earnings and cash flow will significantly enhance our financial flexibility, support our current growth initiatives, and enable us to take advantage of important strategic opportunities in a quickly changing media landscape, including executing on our 'New WWE' initiative."
WWE's management and Board remain committed to delivering value for the Company's shareholders, and the revised dividend will continue to return significant cash to its investors. The revised quarterly payout of $0.12 per share provides a yield of 4.2% based on the April 28 stock price, representing an approximate 130% premium to the S&P 500. Further, the Board will continue to review the Company's dividend policy on an ongoing basis, including the appropriateness of one-time returns of capital.
The new quarterly dividend rate will become effective with our June 2011 dividend payment. The record date for the dividend will be June 15, 2011, with a payment date of June 27, 2011.