Caesars Entertainment Corporation today announced that its Board of Directors has increased its share repurchase authorization to $750 million of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Since announcing the initial $500 million repurchase authorization on May 2, 2018, the company has acquired 23 million shares of its common stock, which equates to approximately 3.3% of the company’s outstanding shares. The purchases were made at an average price of $10.22 per share for a total of $232 million. With today’s increase in authorization, the company has $518 million remaining under its repurchase program.
“The increased repurchase authorization is a result of our confidence in the company’s operating performance and allows us to take advantage of current market dynamics and strategically return cash to shareholders,” said Mark Frissora, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have ample capacity to pursue our strategic growth initiatives and opportunistically execute the buyback. The Board and management are fully committed to increasing shareholder value.”
Caesars Entertainment also announced it does not have immediate plans to engage in a transaction involving its convertible notes. In June, the company filed a registration statement to exchange its convertible notes for the common stock into which they are convertible plus a cash payment. The company plans to revisit the transaction at a later date. The company is still targeting a 4.5x gross leverage by the end of 2021.
Repurchases under the company’s share repurchase program may be made at the company’s discretion from time to time on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase program has no time limit, does not obligate the company to make any repurchases and may be suspended for periods or discontinued at any time. Any shares acquired will be available for general corporate purposes. Caesars Entertainment intends to finance the share repurchase program using cash from operations.