Rhode Island-Based Twin River Worldwide Holdings Commits $250 Million to Buybacks, Dividends

Posted on: June 18, 2019, 06:11h. 

Last updated on: June 18, 2019, 06:11h.

Executives at newly public Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TRWH) — the owner of two Rhode Island casinos — say they will spend up to $250 million repurchasing the company’s own stock and paying out dividends.

First to enter the sports betting game post-PASPA, Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino made its mark in Nov. 2018 when it opened its sports book: seen here are casino VP/GM Craig Sculos (left) and TRWH Chairman John Taylor. Twin River Holdings has been public just over two months and is already paying a dividend. (Image: Steven Senne / AP)

The Rhode Island-based company is starting a quarterly payout of 10 cents a share, which will be paid on July 23 to those who are shareholders of record by July 9.

Twin River listed on the New York Stock Exchange just over two months ago and is engaging in shareholder rewards far more rapidly than most new companies do. Plus, Twin River is already profitable, something that cannot be said of some other of this year’s more anticipated rookie stocks.

Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $30.38, shares of Twin River would yield 1.31 percent. That is inline with the dividend yield of 1.30 percent on the Russell 2000 Index, a widely followed gauge of small-cap equities. With a market capitalization of $1.25 billion, Twin River is, by definition, a small-cap stock.

Betting On Itself

Twin River, which owns a casino by the same name in Lincoln, Rhode Island and the Tiverton Casino Hotel in the same state, can be seen as betting on itself with the new capital return programs.

The operator of gaming properties in Delaware and Mississippi, in addition to its Rhode Island venues, Twin River has 41 million shares outstanding, meaning its annual dividend expense will be $16.4 million, based on an annual payout of 40 cents a share.

Unveiling a share repurchase program is another positive sign for Twin River investors, because companies typically do this when they see value in their own stock. Additionally, share buyback initiatives trim the number of freely floating stock a company has, thereby reducing its dividend expense while boosting its earnings per share.

Twin River expects to fund any share repurchases and dividends from existing capital resources,” a company statement said.

Translation: the casino operator is not selling corporate debt to fund its shareholder reward efforts, another positive sign.

At the end of the first quarter, the owner of Arapahoe Park Racetrack in Aurora, Colorado had $103 million in cash on hand, up from $77.58 million at the end of last year, and debt of $421.2 million.

How Twin River Stacks Up

Three of the four largest US casino operators are dividend payers, with Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) sporting the heftiest yield at 5.40 percent.

New to the dividend game, Twin River has a long way to enter LVS payout territory, but the Dover Downs operator’s payout compares well with some other regional gaming firms.

At 10 cents a share per quarter, Twin River’s dividend is inline with that of Red Rock Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: RRR) and above the seven cents per share to which Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD) recently boosted its payout.

“Twin River expects to review its dividend not less frequently than annually,” the company said in a statement.

Shares of Twin River are up 1.44 percent year-to-date. As is the case with some other gaming companies, the stock is beloved by some hedge funds. For example, Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors family office bought 1.2 million Twin River shares in the first quarter.