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Sinclair posts higher 3Q earnings, revenue

BALTIMORE (AP) -- TV station operator Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income grew 36 percent, helped by higher revenue from political advertising.

The company earned $26.2 million, or 32 cents per share, up from $19.2 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 44 percent to $260 million from $181 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $256 million, according to FactSet.

Political ad revenue was $27.8 million, up from $2.4 million a year earlier. The company said it expects political ad spending on its stations to hit a record $98.2 million this year.

Sinclair also declared a special dividend of $1 in addition to its regular quarterly dividend of 15 cents. The dividends are payable on Dec. 14 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 30. Sinclair said the special dividend amounts to $81.2 million.

The company's stock rose 26 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $12.86 in midday trading Thursday. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $7.82 and $13.33.