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Allegiant Travel to pay $2.50-per-share special dividend

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., operator of Allegiant Air, will pay its shareholders a $2.50 per-share special dividend next month.

Payment will be made Jan. 6 to shareholders of record on Dec. 19. The payment will amount to $44 million based on current shares of common stock outstanding.

It was the fourth dividend the company has paid since its founding in 1997. The company paid a $2.25-per-share special dividend last year, a $2-per-share dividend in 2012 and 75 cents a share in 2010.

Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said the action demonstrates the company’s commitment to returning cash to stockholders.

“The board felt that it was appropriate at this time to issue this $2.50 dividend because of the strength of our performance, our healthy cash balances and our ability to grow the company through strong cash flows from operations,” Gallagher said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“Through the third quarter of 2014, we have returned over $171 million back to shareholders this year through our share repurchase program and a previous special dividend declared last year, while at the same time we have purchased 24 aircraft for future growth,” he said.

Gallagher said Allegiant isn’t committing to a regular dividend payment, but will consider future outlays as circumstances warrant.

Allegiant, a deep-discount air carrier, flies to several resort destinations, including Las Vegas, from small cities charging low base fares with a series of ancillary fees and third-party sales of hotel rooms and rental cars.

Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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