Cheniere boosts share buyback by $4 billion

US LNG exporting giant Cheniere has raised its share repurchase authorization by $4 billion through 2027. The company also plans to increase its quarterly dividend by 15 percent.

Cheniere said in a statement on Monday it aims to increase its quarterly dividend to $2.00 per common share annualized, starting with the third quarter 2024.

The dividend hike plan remains subject to declaration by its board of directors.

Cheniere said this announcement highlights its “robust cash flow generation and visibility while demonstrating further execution on the company’s ‘20/20 Vision’ capital allocation plan.”

Since the plan’s announcement, Cheniere has funded accretive, brownfield growth, bringing the Corpus Christi Stage 3 project to over 60 percent complete, repurchased about 10 percent of shares outstanding while growing its dividend by over 30 percent.

“The new repurchase authorization will enable us to further reduce share count, and the increased dividend will enhance capital returns while retaining significant financial flexibility to fund accretive growth,” said Zach Davis, Cheniere’s executive VP and CFO.

“This announcement solidifies our line of sight towards the goals of the capital allocation plan to maximize shareholder value by deploying over $20 billion of available cash towards accretive growth, capital returns, and a sustainable investment grade balance sheet, in order to generate over $20 per share in run-rate distributable cash flow for shareholders,” Davis said.

Cheniere expanding capacity

Cheniere is the largest LNG exporter in the US.

The company’s Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana currently has a capacity of about 30 mtpa following the launch of the sixth train in February 2022, while Cheniere’s three-train Corpus Christi plant in Texas can produce about 15 mtpa of LNG and is undergoing expansion to add more than 10 mtpa of capacity.

The Stage 3 expansion project at Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG export plant in Texas is 60.4 percent complete, according to the May construction report filed with the US FERC.

The US LNG exporting giant is expecting to start production at the first train later this year.

Besides this expansion, Cheniere plans to build two more liquefaction trains as part of the third expansion phase at the Corpus Christi plant.

In addition, Cheniere also aims to build two new liquefaction trains as part of the Sabine Pass Stage 5 expansion project to add up to 20 mtpa of capacity to the giant facility.

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