Ascent ups stock buyback

Stang points to recent stock activity
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Ascent Capital Group, parent company of Monitronics, increased its stock buyback program by $25 million, Ascent announced Sept. 4.

“As a public company, Ascent has a significant [amount] of cash that they’d been waiting to [use to] make acquisitions and try to find the best use of it,” David Stang, founder and president of recently formed Stang Capital Advisory, told Security Systems News

“As they look at different opportunities to deploy that cash, they have made the decision to potentially increase [the amount of their] stock [buybacks]. … [This will] ultimately give a higher return [to] their shareholders,” Stang said. The move could be related to the recent stock market turmoil, he said.

“There [are] two ways to give the shareholders returns: to do acquisitions, or return the cash to the shareholders in [the form of] dividends or stock buybacks. I think they’re just trying to mix the two.” Though, the increase to the stock repurchase program has no affect on the company’s possible plans or ability for acquisitions, he said.

Stang said that Monitonics has a bright future. “I think the company is definitely on the move, looking for strategic acquisitions, and is poised to do well for the future,” Stang said.

Ascent Capital declined to elaborate beyond its news release. Bill Fitzgerald, Ascent chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement that the company believes the stock is significantly undervalued at current market prices and that “a share buyback program underscores our confidence in the company's future and represents both an effective use of our capital as well as an efficient way to return capital to shareholders.”