YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Times Mirror Expects Good Year, Boosts Dividend 50%

May 09, 1997|From a Times Staff Writer

Times Mirror Co. Chief Executive Mark H. Willes on Thursday announced a 50% hike in the stock dividend, saying he is "optimistic" about the future of the Los Angeles-based media company.

"We had a strong year in 1996 and are expecting a strong year in 1997," said Willes, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Times Mirror, which publishes the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Baltimore Sun and other newspapers, magazines and professional information sources.

Willes predicted that earnings per share could increase as much as 50% this year "if our revenues and costs continue on the tracks they're now on." For 1996, Times Mirror reported earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.51, up 80% from 1995.

The Times Mirror board of directors increased the quarterly dividend to 15 cents per share from 10 cents per share on Series A and Series C common stock. The dividend is payable on June 10 to shareholders of record on May 30.

"This 50% increase reflects our confidence in the underlying earnings strength of the company and helps all of our shareholders to benefit from our improved performance," Willes told shareholders at the company's annual meeting.

Willes joined Times Mirror nearly two years ago and launched a sweeping restructuring that cut costs sharply and helped boost earnings.

Times Mirror last month reported a 74% increase in net income for the first quarter, primarily because of strong performances by its newspapers.

Willes noted that The Times posted an increase in daily circulation for the six months ended March 31 of more than 47,000--"greater than the total circulation of over 80% of the newspapers in America." The Times' daily circulation is 1,068,812.

Los Angeles Times Articles