Scripps Network Interactive has added another $1 billion to its share repurchase plan and boosted its quarterly dividend.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s board approved the extra billion for the buyback plan Thursday, a day before the company’s releases its quarterly financial report.
The billion dollars is on top of the $647 million remaining in the previous share repurchase authorization as of Dec. 31, 2013, the company said.
The board also approved a dividend payment of 20 cents, an increase from 15 cents. The dividend will be paid March 10 to shareholders of record on Feb. 28.
The company’s lifestyle media portfolio includes television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.
Shares of Scripps Networks shed 39 cents in Thursday trading to close at $77.44.
Scripps is expected to release its financial report before the market opens Friday.
Companies that know how to make money often attract interest from potential buyers. It’s happening again for Scripps Networks Interactive.
The purchase of the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company was discussed today at a meeting of the Discovery Communications board, according to a report on the Variety website.
Scripps Networks has been the subject of purchase gossip for some time.
Walt Disney, Time Warner and CBS have previously been mentioned as possible suitors.
“SNI’s holdings would be a natural fit with Discovery’s suite of lifestyle-driven cablers, which include the mothership channel, TLC, Animal Planet and OWN.
“Knoxville, Tenn.-based SNI has been seen as a prime acquisition target for some time. The company has valuable brands, particularly in Food Network and HGTV, but is small enough to be easily integrated into a larger conglom with cable programming assets. SNI has a market cap of about $11 billion, with the stock closing Tuesday at $75.26, up 52 cents,” Variety reports.
Click here for the Variety story.
HGTV and DIY Network are enjoying “probably their best year ever, totally, not only in ratings but advertising as well,” Ken Lowe, Scripps Networks Interactive’s chairman, CEO and president, told CNBC today.
Lowe credited an improving housing market for the boosting all of the company’s lifestyle media channels.
“When you see people enjoying their homes and the housing market, feeling better and being better, then that just naturally allows our networks to flourish,” Lowe said.
Lowe was on CNBC to mark the 20th anniversary of the Food Channel.
“Who would have thought, right, a little network about how to boil water is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and over the years it’s really become a pop culture icon and started so many chefs down the path of becoming celebrities, if you will,” Lowe said.
Investors surely enjoy the company’s growth, if not the over abundance of celebrity chefs. SNI’s share price was trading around $78.45 by mid afternoon, up more than 32 percent for the year.
Scripps Networks portfolio of cable channels includes HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country
Click here for Lowe’s CNBC interview.
Scripps Networks Interactive is expanding its reach in the video world.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company announced Thursday the launch of ulive, an online video site and distribution platform. The site curates videos from Scripps cable networks — HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.
In addition, ulive will offer more than 70 original video series featuring Scripps talent, social media stars and bloggers, according to a news release.
“With ulive we have created an online destination where anyone can enjoy entertaining and relevant videos for the way you live,” ulive President Jeff Meyer said in a statement. “It enables viewers to discover, watch and share what they love the most, across food, home, travel, parenting and wellness — and this is only the beginning of the site’s capabilities and content.”
Two of the new original series launched Thursday — “What Will the Maid Think?” from Bert Kreischer, host of The Travel Channel show Trip Flip and “Bonkers Awesome!” from food blogger Joy the Baker. Here’s what Zacks Equity Research has to say about ulive.
What’s in a name? A lot, if it’s on the Internet, says Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
For the second time in recent weeks, the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company has lost an effort to control a top level domain name,
Scripps most recently lost a “legal rights objection” filed against Google for use of the .diy domain name, according to the trade publication Domain Name Wire.
Scripps owns the home improvement cable channel DIY Network and for obvious reasons would like to control the use of .diy on the Web.
However, the panel that rules on domain name disputes determined that DIY is a generic term and “it is in practice impossible to run a business in do-it-yourself products without using the letters DIY in a wholly generic, descriptive way…,” Domain Name Wire reported Monday.
Scripps previously lost a similar objection for use of the .food domain name.
The Food Network is another of Scripps popular cable channels.
The use of domain names is controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and applicants for top level domain names must follow UDRP — the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy.
Click here for more from Domain Name Wire.
Scripps Networks Interactive announced Thursday it would pay a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share on Sept. 10, to shareholders of record on Aug. 30.That’s unchanged from the dividend paid the previous quarter.
Scripps Networks will report its second-quarter operating results before the market opens on Aug. 8. A conference call with analysts will follow at 10 a.m.
Scripps shares were down slightly in morning trading on Friday at $72.14, but are up more than 20 percent since the first of the year.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s portfolio includes cable channels HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Great American Country and related Internet brands.
Photo: Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters in West Knoxville.
With its stock price rising and earnings soaring, Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. may be a takeover target, according to online reports.
The Knoxville-based company’s stock price pushed to a new 52-week high on Monday, hitting a peak of $61.17. The company’s stock started the year around $43. That kind of gain coupled with second quarter earnings of $142 million, or 93 cents per share, are reasons takeover talk is bubbling this week.
Citigroup analysts say Disney may have its eye on the lifestyle media company and its audience, according to TheStreet, a digital financial media company.