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American Greetings Announces Third Quarter Earnings

CLEVELAND, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM) today announced its results for the third fiscal quarter ended November 23, 2012.

Third Quarter Results

For the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company reported total revenue of $506.8 million, a pre-tax loss of $2.1 million, and a net loss of $0.8 million or 3 cents per share (all per-share amounts assume dilution).   

The Company announced, on June 7, 2012, the acquisition of certain assets of United Kingdom-based Clinton Cards, including approximately 400 stores and related overhead as well as the Clinton Cards and related brands.  As a result of the acquisition, the Company recognized during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 a revenue increase of approximately $67.6 million from the operations of the Clintons retail stores, reflected in the Company's new Retail Operations segment.  This revenue increase was partially offset by the revenue reduction of approximately $25.5 million from inter-segment sales eliminations, reflected in the Company's International Social Expressions segment, resulting in a net increase in consolidated revenue of approximately $42.1 million in the quarter.  The revenue being eliminated would have been third party sales in the prior year quarter.

The Company recognized a loss of $11.5 million (after-tax of approximately $7.0 million or 22 cents per share) from the operation of its Retail Operations segment.  The Company also recognized a reduction in pre-tax income of approximately $4.1 million (after-tax of approximately $2.5 million or 8 cents per share) as a result of inter-segment items within the International Social Expressions segment.  The total consolidated net reduction in pre-tax income associated with the operation of the Clintons retail stores during the third fiscal quarter was approximately $15.6 million (after-tax of approximately $9.5 million or 30 cents per share).

During the quarter, consolidated revenue was also reduced by $0.6 million as a result of scan-based trading conversions that occurred during the current year's third quarter while the impact of scan-based trading conversions on pre-tax income was $0.6 million (after-tax of approximately $0.4 million or 1 cent per share). 

Also impacting the consolidated results was a pre-tax non-operating income benefit of $1.1 million (after-tax of approximately $0.7 million or 2 cents per share) from a gain on the sale of a portion of a legacy minority investment.  A separate but related gain from this minority investment was previously recognized during our second fiscal quarter of 2013.

In the prior year's third quarter, the Company reported total revenue of $465.0 million, pre-tax income of $29.7 million, and net income of $20.2 million or 50 cents per share.  Scan-based trading conversions reduced revenue by approximately $1.2 million during the quarter and reduced pre-tax income by approximately $1.1 million (after-tax of approximately $0.7 million or 2 cents per share).

Financing Activities

During the third quarter of fiscal 2013, under the Company's $75 million share repurchase program announced July 2012, the Company purchased approximately 1.1 million shares of its common stock for approximately $15.9 million.  Purchases under this share repurchase program were suspended as of September 26, 2012. 

Conference Call on the Web

American Greetings will broadcast its conference call live on the Internet at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time today.  The conference call will be accessible through the Investors section of the American Greetings Web site at http://investors.americangreetings.com.  A replay of the call will also be available on the site.

About American Greetings Corporation

For more than 100 years, American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM) has been a creator and manufacturer of innovative social expression products that assist consumers in enhancing their relationships to create happiness, laughter and love.  The Company's major greeting card lines are American Greetings, Carlton Cards, Gibson, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus, and other paper product offerings include DesignWare party goods and American Greetings and Plus Mark gift-packaging and boxed cards.  American Greetings also has one of the largest collections of greetings on the Web, including greeting cards available at Cardstore.com and electronic greeting cards available at AmericanGreetings.com.  In addition to its product lines, American Greetings creates and licenses popular character brands through the American Greetings Properties group.  Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings generates annual revenue of approximately $1.7 billion, and its products can be found in retail outlets worldwide.  For more information on the Company, visit http://corporate.americangreetings.com.

Non-GAAP Measures

Certain after-tax amounts included in the earnings release may be considered non-GAAP measures under the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation G.  The after-tax amounts were calculated based on the Company's statutory tax rate of approximately 38.9% for U.S. based items and the appropriate rates for international jurisdictions.  Management believes that after-tax information is useful in analyzing the Company's results. 

Factors That May Affect Future Results

Certain statements in this release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal securities laws.  These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or current facts.  They use such words as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance.  These forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, but are subject to a variety of uncertainties, unknown risks and other factors concerning the Company's operations and business environment, which are difficult to predict and may be beyond the control of the Company.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements, and that could adversely affect the Company's future performance, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • a weak retail environment and general economic conditions;
  • the loss of one or more retail customers and/or retail consolidations, acquisitions and bankruptcies, including the possibility of resulting adverse changes to retail contract terms;
  • competitive terms of sale offered to customers, including costs and other terms associated with new and expanded customer relationships;
  • the ability to successfully integrate Clinton Cards and achieve the anticipated revenue and operating profits, together with the outcome of negotiations with landlords and the ultimate number of stores acquired;
  • the ability of the administrators to generate sufficient proceeds from the liquidation of the remaining Clinton Cards business to repay the remaining secured debt owed to American Greetings;
  • the timing and impact of expenses incurred and investments made to support new retail or product strategies, including increased marketing expenses, as well as new product introductions and achieving the desired benefits from those investments;
  • the timing of investments in, together with the ability to successfully implement or achieve the desired benefits and cost savings associated with, any information technology systems refresh the Company may implement;
  • the timing and amount of expenses incurred by the Company in connection with the non-binding proposal dated September 25, 2012 from Zev Weiss, its Chief Executive Officer, and Jeffrey Weiss, its President and Chief Operating Officer, on behalf of themselves and certain other members of the Weiss family and related parties to acquire all of the outstanding Class A and Class B common shares of the Company not currently owned by the them;
  • the timing and impact of converting customers to a scan-based trading model;
  • the ability to achieve the desired benefits associated with the Company's cost reduction efforts;
  • Schurman Fine Papers' ability to successfully operate its retail operations and satisfy its obligations to the Company; 
  • consumer demand for social expression products generally, shifts in consumer shopping behavior, and consumer acceptance of products as priced and marketed including the success of new and expanded advertising and marketing efforts, such as the Company's on-line efforts through Cardstore.com;
  • the impact and availability of technology, including social media, on product sales;
  • escalation in the cost of providing employee health care;
  • the Company's ability to achieve the desired accretive effect from any share repurchase programs;
  • the Company's ability to comply with its debt covenants;
  • fluctuations in the value of currencies in major areas where the Company operates, including the U.S. Dollar, Euro, U.K. Pound Sterling, and Canadian Dollar; and
  • the outcome of any legal claims known or unknown.

Risks pertaining specifically to AG Interactive include the viability of online advertising, subscriptions as revenue generators, and the ability to adapt to rapidly changing social media and the digital photo sharing space.

In addition, this release contains time-sensitive information that reflects management's best analysis as of the date of this release; however the risks and uncertainties identified above are not the only risks the Company faces.  Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or that the Company believes to be immaterial also may adversely affect American Greetings.  Should any known or unknown risks or uncertainties develop into actual events, or underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, these developments could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  American Greetings does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or circumstances that arise after the date of this release.  Further information concerning issues that could materially affect performance related to forward-looking statements can be found in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation the risk factors described in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in each of its subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.













AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION

THIRD QUARTER CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 2013

























(In thousands of dollars except share and per share amounts)


















(Unaudited)






Three Months Ended


Nine Months Ended






November 23,
2012


November 25,
2011


November 23,
2012


November 25,
2011













Net sales



$     499,368


$     458,535


$  1,275,139


$  1,217,800

Other revenue



7,446


6,472


18,617


21,097

Total revenue



506,814


465,007


1,293,756


1,238,897













Material, labor and other production costs



244,071


230,572


584,667


546,699

Selling, distribution and marketing expenses



190,041


141,501


466,199


392,630

Administrative and general expenses



74,483


60,510


225,521


186,734

Other operating income - net



(2,217)


(813)


(1,421)


(6,858)













Operating income



436


33,237


18,790


119,692













Interest expense



4,504


5,821


13,314


17,708

Interest income



(65)


(207)


(297)


(838)

Other non-operating (income) expense - net



(1,904)


(2,077)


3,523


(2,621)













(Loss) income before income tax (benefit) expense



(2,099)


29,700


2,250


105,443

Income tax (benefit) expense 



(1,290)


9,454


63


38,128













Net (loss) income



$          (809)


$      20,246


$        2,187


$      67,315

























(Loss) earnings per share - basic





$         (0.03)


$          0.51


$          0.06


$          1.67

























(Loss) earnings per share - assuming dilution



$         (0.03)


$          0.50


$          0.06


$          1.63

























Average number of common shares outstanding



31,877,088


39,480,798


33,712,073


40,226,039













Average number of common shares outstanding - 










assuming dilution



31,877,088


40,436,865


34,478,737


41,381,157













Dividends declared per share                        



$          0.15


$          0.15


$          0.45


$          0.45

























 

  












AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION

THIRD QUARTER CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 2013












(In thousands of dollars)
















(Unaudited)





Three Months Ended


Nine Months Ended





November 23,
2012


November 25,
2011


November 23,
2012


November 25,
2011












Net (loss) income


$          (809)


$      20,246


$        2,187


$      67,315












Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:









    Foreign currency translation adjustments


2,680


(15,592)


(91)


(12,554)

    Pension and postretirement benefit adjustments


145


536


643


607

    Unrealized loss on securities


-


(1)


(1)


-

Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax:


2,825


(15,057)


551


(11,947)

Comprehensive income 


$        2,016


$        5,189


$        2,738


$      55,368












 

 

AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION


THIRD QUARTER CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION


FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 2013














(In thousands of dollars)










(Unaudited)










November 23,
2012


November 25,
2011














ASSETS










CURRENT ASSETS










Cash and cash equivalents




$           63,291


$           85,661



Trade accounts receivable, net



197,844


235,318



Inventories






264,330


214,412



Deferred and refundable income taxes



80,502


57,400



Prepaid expenses and other



155,543


123,481




Total current assets




761,510


716,272














GOODWILL






-


27,713


OTHER ASSETS





460,647


417,479


DEFERRED AND REFUNDABLE INCOME TAXES


120,870


128,595














Property, plant and equipment - at cost



1,004,686


904,555


Less accumulated depreciation




642,994


637,334


PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT - NET


361,692


267,221










$      1,704,719


$      1,557,280


























LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY






CURRENT LIABILITIES









Accounts payable




$         194,945


$         108,254



Accrued liabilities




82,893


67,596



Accrued compensation and benefits



60,702


58,411



Income taxes payable




14,641


26,626



Deferred revenue




26,404


29,477



Other current liabilities




44,287


60,963




Total current liabilities




423,872


351,327














LONG-TERM DEBT





356,832


234,642


OTHER LIABILITIES





259,787


182,565


DEFERRED INCOME TAXES AND







  NONCURRENT INCOME TAXES PAYABLE


21,008


21,769














SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY









Common shares - Class A




28,849


35,562



Common shares - Class B




2,860


2,778



Capital in excess of par value



520,119


509,999



Treasury stock





(1,093,789)


(995,338)



Accumulated other comprehensive loss



(11,279)


(14,293)



Retained earnings




1,196,460


1,228,269




Total shareholders' equity



643,220


766,977










$      1,704,719


$      1,557,280














 

AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION

THIRD QUARTER CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 2013

(In thousands of dollars)


















(Unaudited)








Nine Months Ended








November 23, 2012


November 25, 2011











OPERATING ACTIVITIES:







Net income




$            2,187


$           67,315


Adjustments to reconcile net income

to cash flows from operating activities:







Stock-based compensation


7,806


8,038



Gain on dispositions



-


(4,500)



Net loss (gain) on disposal of fixed assets


394


(807)



Depreciation and intangible assets amortization

36,095


32,993



Provision for doubtful accounts


17,771


4,879



Impairment of Clinton Cards debt


10,043


-



Deferred income taxes



809


6,412



Gain on sale of Party City investment


(4,293)


-



Other non-cash charges



892


2,747



Changes in operating assets and liabilities,








    net of acquisitions:









Trade accounts receivable


(101,363)


(122,298)




Inventories



(39,105)


(30,939)




Other current assets



(17,877)


6,470




Income taxes



(15,336)


3,362




Deferred costs - net



23,702


(3,838)




Accounts payable and other liabilities


112,283


3,528




Other - net



(1,913)


98



Total Cash Flows From Operating Activities


32,095


(26,540)











INVESTING ACTIVITIES:







Property, plant and equipment additions


(87,408)


(48,956)


Cash payments for business acquisitions, net of cash acquired

621


(5,899)


Proceeds from sale of fixed assets


559


9,046


Proceeds from sale of intellectual properties


-


4,500


Proceeds from sale of Party City investment


4,920


-


Purchase of Clinton Cards debt


(56,560)


-



Total Cash Flows From Investing Activities


(137,868)


(41,309)











FINANCING ACTIVITIES:







Net increase in long-term debt


131,651


-


Issuance or exercise of share-based payment awards

(496)


12,293


Tax (deficiency) benefit from share-based payment awards

(376)


2,380


Purchase of treasury shares



(78,742)


(55,304)


Dividends to shareholders



(15,182)


(18,146)



Total Cash Flows From Financing Activities


36,855


(58,777)











EFFECT OF EXCHANGE RATE CHANGES ON CASH

(229)


(3,551)











DECREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS


(69,147)


(130,177)













Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Year

132,438


215,838



Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period


$           63,291


$           85,661











 

AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION

THIRD QUARTER CONSOLIDATED SEGMENT DISCLOSURES

FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 2013

(In thousands of dollars)


















(Unaudited)






Three Months Ended


Nine Months Ended






November 23, 2012


November 25, 2011


November 23, 2012


November 25, 2011

Total Revenue:











North American Social Expression Products

$         333,852


$         333,305


$         908,267


$         902,333













International Social Expression Products

101,972


103,352


239,486


249,448

Intersegment items



(25,538)


-


(39,080)


-

Net





76,434


103,352


200,406


249,448













Retail Operations (1)



67,635


-


107,519


-













AG Interactive




15,982


16,878


47,255


49,664













Non-reportable segments



12,911


11,472


30,309


37,452


















$         506,814


$         465,007


$      1,293,756


$      1,238,897

























Segment (Loss) Earnings:









North American Social Expression Products

$           22,099


$           28,016


$           98,757


$         113,009













International Social Expression Products

3,413


9,537


(18,855)


15,308

Intersegment items



(4,123)


-


(11,525)


-

Net





(710)


9,537


(30,380)


15,308













Retail Operations (1)



(11,473)


-


(16,579)


-













AG Interactive




5,331


3,737


13,713


10,970













Non-reportable segments



3,259


2,368


5,501


17,467













Unallocated




(20,605)


(13,958)


(68,762)


(51,311)


















$           (2,099)


$           29,700


$            2,250


$         105,443

























(1) Retail Operations segment only includes five months of activity


















AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION


SUPPLEMENTAL EXHIBIT


(Dollars in millions)
























During the nine months ended November 23, 2012, the Corporation recorded certain charges associated with activities and transactions related to Clinton Cards PLC ("Clinton Cards") that do not have comparative amounts in the prior year period.  









































(Unaudited)







Three Months Ended







November 23, 2012


















Contract asset impairment


Bad debt expense


Legal and advisory fees


Impairment of debt purchased


Total


Net sales

$               -


$      -


$                        -


$                -


$   -


Administrative and general expenses

-


-


0.3


-


0.3


Other non-operating expense

-


-


-


-


-



$               -


$      -


$                      0.3


$                -


$  0.3





























(Unaudited)







Nine Months Ended







November 23, 2012


















Contract asset impairment


Bad debt expense


Legal and advisory fees


Impairment of debt purchased


Total


Net sales

$             4.0


$      -


$                        -


$                -


$  4.0


Administrative and general expenses

-


17.2


6.3


-


23.5


Other non-operating expense

-


-


-


10.0


10.0



$             4.0


$   17.2


$                      6.3


$             10.0


$37.5













 

SOURCE American Greetings Corporation

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Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...