Stock plan would give National Research Corp. more flexibility

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Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:00 am

A Lincoln company on Monday asked its shareholders to OK changes in its publicly traded stock that would give the company more flexibility to issue stock and more shares to trade on the Nasdaq exchange.

National Research Corp., which measures health care quality for business clients, will make the proposal at its annual shareholders meeting May 9 in Lincoln.

Each current share would be converted into a Class B share with one-half of its value, plus a dividend of three shares of a new Class A stock.

If the company issues cash dividends in the future, Class A shares would receive dividends at the rate of one-sixth the amount received by Class B shares. The two classes of shares also would have different voting rights for electing members of the company's board of directors.

Kevin R. Karas, National Research's chief financial officer, said the company would have about 20 million shares of stock outstanding, compared with about 6.9 million now. National Research has fewer than 1,000 shareholders. CEO Michael Hays is majority owner.

National Research shares sold for $58.83 Monday, making the company worth about $405 million on the stock market.

If shareholders approve the plan, National Research could issue either class of shares or both if it wanted to raise money for corporate purchases, such as acquisitions, Karas said. He said the company would suspend its quarterly dividend while the stock market sorts out the relative prices of the two classes of stock.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1080, steve.jordon@owh.com, twitter.com/buffettOWH

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