Stock in Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., the owner-operator of Baltimore's Channel 45 (WBFF) and five other broadcast stations around the country, jumped by about 15 percent yesterday in the first day of trading after a successful initial public offering.
Shares in the Baltimore-based company closed at $24.125, up $3.125 from Tuesday's offering price, as Sinclair benefited from a bullish market for broadcast stocks.
The company raised $105 million, about $15 million more than it predicted, when underwriters placed 5 million shares at $21 each. The number of shares was up from the original estimate of 4.31 million in an earlier prospectus.
The company said the entire proceeds of the sale would be used to reduce its debt, which has escalated to an estimated $440 million over the past decade as the company has spent aggressively on acquisitions.
Besides owning six stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group also provides programs to Channel 54 (WNUV) and four other stations around the country.
The other stations Sinclair owns outright are in Columbus, Ohio; Birmingham, Ala.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.
Six of Sinclair's properties are affiliated with the Fox Broadcasting Network, while others show programs by NBC or the United Television market Partnership.
The company reported $123.5 million in total revenues in 1994, when one includes barter arrangements.