Kruger Inc. today announced that Woodland Operations at its Corner Brook Mill have achieved certification under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) National Boreal Standard. Issued by QMI-SAI Canada Limited, an FSC-accredited organization, the certificate recognizes that all woodland operations comply with FSCrequirements, including management planning, road construction and maintenance, harvesting operations, fibre transportation, silviculture and support activities.
"Achieving FSC National Boreal Standard certification is part of our long-standing commitment to environmental protection and the result of our employees' dedication to managing and using resources responsibly," said Pat Tompkins, Woodlands Manager, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited.
FSC standards are among the strictest and most recognized in the global forest industry. Kruger's Corner Brook Mill obtained this certification after a rigorous auditing process, building on its existing certifications to the ISO Environmental Management and CSA Sustainable Forest Management Standards. The new certificate (license code QMI-FM/COC-001506) covers forest management districts nos. 5, 6, 9, 14, 15 and 16.
Johnson Publishing Co. is quietly revamping its no. 2 magazine, the bi-weekly Jet, decreasing its target circulation and hiring a new managing editor this year.
While Jet's circulation has dropped over the past year, that was part of a planned strategy to spend less on boosting circulation and more on a remake of the publication, said Johnson CEO Desiree Rogers. The company, which also publishes the monthly Ebony magazine, is now promising advertisers a circulation of 700,000 for Jet as opposed to 800,000.
The magazine's circulation declined to 745,809 on average for the six months ended June 30, from 820,557 for the same period a year earlier, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, but it was able to reach the number it had committed to advertisers.
“This is part of what we manage,” Ms. Rogers said in an interview. “We're very happy that we made rate base.”
She also said she's pleased that the Chicago-based company has been able to decrease the percentage of magazines that are distributed, sometimes free-of-charge, to beauty salons, doctors' offices and other such commercial locations to 1.2 percent as of June 30, from 9.2 percent a year ago.
Jet decreased its frequency to bi-weekly from weekly in January and on May 30 hired a new managing editor, Anslem Samuel Rocque, who was previously culture editor of the Source magazine and editor-in-chief of the Ave magazine. He replaced Candi Meriwether.
The Postal Service ended its third fiscal quarter (April 1 – June 30) with a net loss of $5.2 billion, compared to a net loss of $3.1 billion for the same period last year. Contributing significantly to the quarter’s $5.2 billion loss was $3.1 billion of expense for the legislatively mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits. These expenses, along with the continued decline of First-Class Mail volume, more than offset the quarter’s 9 percent growth in revenue from Shipping Services and package delivery. Despite continued success in generating new package delivery revenue, improving efficiency and reducing costs, large losses are expected to continue until legislative changes are made in line with the Postal Service Business Plan to return to financial stability.
The Postal Business Plan includes measures that require urgent legislative changes, including:
•A refund of $11 billion of pension plan overfunding needed to pay down debt and invest for future growth
•Transition to a five-day schedule of weekly mail delivery
•The elimination of prefunding for retiree health benefits with the introduction of a Postal health insurance program, independent of the current federal programs.
Nordstrom, Inc. today reported its results for the second quarter, which reflected a shift in timing of the Anniversary Sale event with one week of the event moving into the fiscal third quarter. Net earnings were $156 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended July 28, 2012, compared with net earnings of $175 million, $0.80 per diluted share, for the same quarter last year.
The Anniversary Sale is historically the Company’s largest sale of the year and started one week later in July relative to last year. The Company expected the event shift to cause an unfavorable comparison in the second quarter, offset by a favorable impact in the third quarter. Second quarter sales and Anniversary Sale results through the end of July exceeded Company expectations. Second quarter same-store sales increased 4.5 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. Net sales in the second quarter were $2.92 billion, an increase of 7.4 percent compared with net sales of $2.72 billion during the same period in fiscal 2011.
Nordstrom’s second quarter performance reflected top-line strength consistent with the Company’s growth strategy to elevate the customer experience and innovate through ongoing investments.
•Nordstrom net sales, which include results from the full-line and Direct businesses, increased $139 million, or 6.1 percent, compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. Same-store sales increased 4.9 percent. Top-performing merchandise categories included Handbags, Women’s Shoes and Cosmetics.
• Full-line same-store sales increased 1.1 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. The South and Midwest regions were the top-performing geographic areas relative to the second quarter of 2011.
Alberta Newsprint Company (“ANC”) announced ownership approval for construction of a power generation plant at its newsprint operation in Whitecourt, Alberta. ANC is a joint venture owned by West Fraser and Whitecourt Newsprint Company Limited Partnership. ANC is a preferred supplier of high-quality newsprint in North America.
The approximately 65 Megawatt power plant will produce electricity fueled by natural gas. Electricity generated by the plant will be consumed by ANC and sold into the Alberta power grid.
“ANC is committed to being a competitive, reliable and long-term supplier of newsprint to our customers.” says ANC President Ron Stern. “This significant investment will further enhance our ability to deliver a high-quality product to the market.”
ANC is in the final stages of selecting the equipment supplier for the project. ANC expects to begin construction of the project in the fall of 2012 with an anticipated start-up in late 2013. Construction of the power plant will not disrupt newsprint production operations.
What do you do with another recipe app? Even though Apple recently parsed a new Food and Drink app category that gives recipe and fast food apps a place of their own, the space remains cluttered with options. It is hard for any newbie to stand out without a highly visible personality, special feature or brand. Relish magazine comes into the fray with an OK app using the Zumobi content and advertising engine. It is pleasantly and cleanly designed, but unremarkable otherwise.
The app is good to its Daily Dish moniker in that it pushes a daily set of featured recipes to the surface as well as a wall of tiles containing editors’ favorites. All the usual tools are here. We get a grocery list, favorite-ing, share tools, etc. The search box is really the main interface here. There is a filtering tool that lets you set three parameters: meal, dish type and main ingredient, but that really isn’t enough to make the tool that helpful. You can only choose one option in each category, so the filtering functionality is pretty basic.
The Articles section gives you a relatively scant collection of how-to pieces, but nothing like the catalog of instructional material we have seen elsewhere.
From January to June 2012 Koryazhma Mill (Arkhangelsk Oblast) increased its production volume by 2%, as compared to the similar period of the previous year. Production output totaled 543,000 tons, including 189,000 tons of market pulp. The increase amounts to 7% against production output in the first six months of 2011.
The Mill produced 118,000 tons of paper, which is 10% above the production output for the similar period of the last year. This includes 43,000 tons of sack paper, 57,000 tons of offset paper, and 18,000 tons of wallpaper.
Market containerboard production totaled 236,000 tons, going down by 4.5%. Decrease in containerboard output is due to redistribution of sack paper/ board production volumes in favor of sack paper taking into account the current market conditions.
Over the first six months of 2012 pulp cooking output has reached 567,000 tons, with a 2% increase.
Davler Media Group, publisher of NYMetroParents, City Guide and Promenade, has acquired Long Island Parent and its associated website from Wordsmiths Media, LLC.
Davler, which produces eight editions of NYMetro Parents for New York City, Long Island and Connecticut suburbs, plans to fold its Long Island titles into Long Island Parent and produce two monthly regional editions for Nassau and Suffolk counties. The rebranded, combined issues will start with the October issues.
Wordsmiths Media founder Liza Burby will join Davler in a senior publishing role. "In addition to our readers, I believe our clients will benefit because they can cover their market more efficiently," says Burby in a statement announcing the deal. "Over the next year we will be able to produce new opportunities for them, in print, online and through live events."
In all, Davler publishes 14 magazines and produces five annual live events. It distributes 3 million copies of its City Guide magazine to more than 300 hotels. The eight editions of NYMetroParents distribute 400,000 copies monthly.
AAA’s Fuel Gage Report as of 8/10/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.673/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.383/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.637/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.878/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.680/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.934/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 8/10/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.993585 (120 day high - 1.01905 on April 26, 2012; low 0.961252 on June 5, 2012)
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.157202 (120 day high – 0.159363 on May 2, 2012; low 0.156521 on July 13, 2012)
American Dollar to Euro = 1.227160 (120 day high - 1.3454 on February 28, 2012; low 1.2089 on July 24, 2012)
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.012752 (120 day high – 0.0128855 on February 13, 2012; low 0.0119026 on March 21, 2012)
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.075997 (120 day high – 0.0793808 on March 14, 2012; low 0.0691788 on June 1, 2012)
Oil fell the most in six days, paring its weekly gain, as a collapse in China’s export growth signaled the global economy is weakening and the International Energy Agency said demand expansion is slowing.
Futures fell as much as 1.1 percent in New York after the customs bureau in Beijing said today that China’s net oil imports shrank to the lowest level this year. The bureau also said outbound shipments of all goods increased 1 percent in July from a year earlier, compared with an 8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The Paris-based IEA cut global oil demand forecasts for this year and next.
“Most of the drop in oil prices today come from macro figures in China,” Thina Saltvedt, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB, said by phone from Oslo. “It started with China and then the IEA. That just added to the gloomy picture.”
Oil for September delivery dropped as much as $1.20, the most since Aug. 2, to $92.16 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $92.22 at 11:15 a.m. London time. Prices are up 1 percent this week.
Brent crude for September settlement fell $1.43 to $111.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after advancing 1 percent yesterday.
With the USPS’s second mobile barcode discount winding down at the end of this month, there’s a third one on the way. As ACMA reported in late June, the USPS proposed for another 2% upfront postal discount for Standard letters, flats, and cards (presort and automation) as well as First Class mail containing mobile barcodes at that time. On Tuesday, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved it. The promotion, which runs from November 7th to 21st, contains some tighter provisions, but some additional perks as well.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 28, 2012. For the quarter, jcpenney reported an adjusted net loss of $81 million or $0.37 per share, excluding restructuring and management transition charges, inventory transition markdowns, gain on the redemption of the Simon REIT units, net of fees and non-cash qualified pension expense. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss of $147 million or $0.67 per share.
Comparable store sales for the second quarter declined 21.7 percent. Total sales decreased 22.6 percent, which includes the effects of the Company's exit from its outlet business. Internet sales through jcp.com were $220 million in the second quarter, decreasing 32.6 percent from last year. Sales were adversely impacted by the Company's decision to significantly reduce its marketing activities during the latter half of the quarter, as it reconsidered its approach to pricing and marketing in time for back to school.
Gross margin was 33.2 percent of sales, compared to 38.3 percent in the same period last year. Gross margin was impacted by lower than expected sales in the quarter and approximately $102 million of markdowns taken to clear discontinued inventory in preparation for new product arriving in the fall of 2012. Excluding these transitional markdowns, which lowered gross margin by 340 basis points, adjusted gross margin was 36.6 percent of sales.
Grainger today reported sales results for the month of July 2012. Daily sales increased 11 percent versus July 2011. Results for the month included a 5 percentage point contribution from acquisitions and a 2 percentage point decline from foreign exchange. Organic sales on a daily basis increased 8 percent, including 4 percentage points from volume and 4 percentage points from price. July 2012 had 21 selling days, one more than July 2011. The 2012 third quarter will have one less selling day than the 2011 third quarter (63 versus 64 days).
RDA Holding Co., parent company of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., the global multi-brand and multi-platform media and direct marketing company, announced today its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012.
Revenue decreased $84.5 million to $290.5 million, a decline of 22.5% from the 2011 quarter. The revenue declines were primarily due to the sale of the Every Day with Rachael Ray publication in October 2011, the closure of our freshHome title, declining subscription renewals on certain of our magazine titles, lower sales of books and a decline in advertising in Canada. Our revenue declines were also due to a lower active customer base and a reduction in promotional investment, across many of our markets in Europe.
Second quarter operating loss was $93.2 million, which reflects an impairment charge of $113.4 million. Excluding impairment charges in both comparable periods, operating profit increased $5.5 million to $20.2 million, an increase of 37.4% from the 2011 quarter. The increase in operating profit was primarily the result of higher stock-based compensation expense in the 2011 quarter, decreased amortization costs resulting from the application of fresh start accounting and our emergence from bankruptcy, reduced promotional investments and efficiency improvements related to our customer-centric strategy, and lower overhead costs driven by our 2011 restructuring initiatives.
EBITDA for the quarter was $34.3 million, compared to $57.1 million from the 2011 quarter, which has been adjusted to exclude discontinued operations, as well as the Every Day with Rachael Ray publication.
Cenveo, Inc. today announced results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012.
The Company generated net sales of $438.9 million for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $469.9 million for the second quarter of 2011. The decrease in net sales was primarily due to lower sales in our print and envelope product lines as a result of lower direct mail volumes from our financial services customers, the closure and consolidation of a print plant and our decision to exit certain low margin businesses. The Company generated net sales of $894.5 million for the first six months of 2012, compared to $946.9 million for the first six months of 2011. The decrease in net sales was primarily due to lower sales in our print and envelope product lines as a result of lower direct mail volumes from our financial services customers, customer product launches in the first six months of 2011 that did not repeat in the first six months of 2012, the closure and consolidation of a print plant and our decision to exit certain low margin businesses. The Company expects the di rect mail market to strengthen in the second half of 2012. Net sales from our label and packaging business lines remained relatively flat for the second quarter of 2012 and for the six months of 2012 despite our decision to exit low margin businesses within those platforms, which has been offset in part by our e-commerce initiatives and new account wins in our packaging business.
Operating income was $29.0 million for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $26.3 million for the second quarter of 2011. The increase in operating income was primarily due to our lower cost structure as a result of the integration of our Envelope Product Group ("EPG") acquisition and lower compensation related expenses, offset by increased pension expense and lower byproduct recoveries. Non-GAAP operating income was $36.3 million for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $37.3 million for the second quarter of 2011. Operating income was $43.2 million for the first six months of 2012, compared to $45.5 million for the first six months of 2011. The decrease in operating income was primarily due to increased restructuring, impairment and other charges as a result of the closure and consolidation of a print plant and other cost savings actions executed in the first quarter of 2012, increased pension expense and lower recoveries, offset in part by our lower cost structure due to the integration of our EPG acquisition and lower compensation related expenses. Non-GAAP operating income was $67.9 million for the first six months of 2012, compared to $68.8 million for the first six months of 2011. Non-GAAP operating income excludes integration, acquisition and other charges, stock-based compensation provision, restructuring, impairment and other charges.
Consolidated Graphics, Inc. today announced financial results for its first quarter ended June 30, 2012.
Revenue for the June quarter was $238.3 million, a $5.0 million or 2.1% decline compared to the prior year quarter. The decline in revenue compared to the prior year quarter was due to a 2.5% decline in same-store sales, partially offset by sales growth related to an acquisition. The same- store sales change includes the benefit of election-related revenue growth, compared to the prior year. Adjusted Operating Income for the June 2012 quarter was $2.8 million or 1.2% of revenue, compared to $8.9 million or 3.7% of revenue last year. Adjusted Net Income was $1.0 million or $.09 per diluted share for the quarter, compared to Adjusted Net Income of $4.9 million or $.43 per diluted share for the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $21.4 million for the June 2012 quarter.
Operating income during the June 2012 quarter was $.5 million and included other charges of $1.7 million primarily related to relocating certain production facilities. Operating income for the prior year quarter was $3.6 million and included $4.6 million in other charges due to withdrawing from certain multi-employer pension plans. Net loss for the June 2012 quarter was $.4 million or $.04 diluted loss per share, compared to net income of $1.6 million or $.14 diluted earnings per share last year.
A Hoquiam, Wash., paper mill that shut down about a year ago has been sold and its new owners plan to begin producing paper within 45 days.
Harbor Paper officially took over the shuttered Grays Harbor Paper mill this week.
The Daily World of Aberdeen reports ( http://is.gd/0zmhDK) that the mill sold for about $3.7 million. In a separate sale, the Grays Harbor Public Utility District sold its interest in three biomass turbines at the mill for $540,000.
New Harbor Paper CEO John Begley says he wants to hire about 175 employees over the next two to three months.
Yankee Holding Corp. and The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Yankee Holding Corp., a direct subsidiary of YCC Holdings LLC, is a holding company formed in connection with the Company's Merger with an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC on February 6, 2007 (the "Merger"), and is the parent company of The Yankee Candle Company, Inc.
Sales for the second quarter of 2012 were $145.3 million, an increase of $15.4 million or 11.9% from the prior year second quarter. Retail sales were $81.8 million, an increase of $8.7 million or 11.9% from the prior year second quarter. Sales in the Company's Wholesale segment were $40.5 million, an increase of $2.4 million or 6.3% versus the prior year second quarter. Sales in the Company's International segment were $23.0 million, an increase of $4.3 million or 22.8% from the prior year second quarter.
The Company recorded a net loss of $13.5 million for the second quarter of 2012 compared to a net loss of $7.4 million for the second quarter of 2011. The net loss for the second quarter of 2012 includes a loss of $13.4 million recorded in connection with the Company's April 2012 new term loan financing, which consisted of the write-off of unamortized deferred financing fees of $6.7 million associated with the Company's prior credit facility and call premiums of $6.7 million associated with the redemption of certain of the Company's senior notes.
Quad/Graphics, Inc., announced today that its Actable™ interactive print solution is the enabling technology behind Maxim magazine’s new MAXIM MOTION app. Debuting in the September issue, MAXIM MOTION allows readers to launch an on-page video of cover model Bar Refaeli simply by scanning the cover image with a smartphone or other mobile device. Additional on-page, image-activated videos appear throughout the magazine, which hits stands nationwide on August 14.
Quad/Graphics’ Actable™ interactive print solution allows publishers to create engaging multichannel editorial and advertising experiences. Once Maxim readers download the free MAXIM MOTION app, they can instantly interact with the printed page and launch related content directly from images, eliminating the need for QR codes. In Maxim’s September cover application, a combination of image recognition and augmented reality techniques gives app-enabled mobile device users the appearance of a video screen on the cover page. The screen then seamlessly animates with Bar Refaeli’s image and video.
“MAXIM MOTION is the latest example of how Quad/Graphics is helping our customers redefine print by seamlessly integrating it with mobile technology to create a compelling call to action that can be measured with sophisticated data analytics and reporting,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & CEO. “We understand the pressure our customers are under to integrate print with other media and we are well-positioned as their one-stop technology integrator.”
News Corporation today reported financial results for the three months and full year ending June 30, 2012.
The Company reported annual revenue of $33.7 billion, a $301 million, or 1%, increase over the $33.4 billion of revenue reported a year ago. The annual revenue increase was led by 14% growth at the Company’s Cable Network Programming segment, partially offset by declines primarily at the Company’s Publishing and Other segments.
The Company reported annual total segment operating income(3) of $5.4 billion compared to $4.9 billion reported a year ago. This increase was driven by operating income improvements at nearly all of the Company’s segments, led by a $535 million, or 19%, increase at the Cable Network Programming segment and a $205 million, or 22%, increase at the Filmed Entertainment segment. These improvements were partially offset by decreases at the Publishing segment, reflecting advertising weakness at the international newspaper and integrated marketing services businesses, and the absence of contributions from The News of the World. The full year results included a $224 million charge related to the costs of the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World. The prior year results included a $125 million charge at the Company’s integrated marketing services business related to the settlement of litigation. Excluding these charges from both years, respectively, this year’s adjusted total segment operating income of $5.6 billion increased $628 million, or 13%, from $5.0 billion in the prior year.
The Company reported annual net income of $1.2 billion ($0.47 per share), compared to net income of $2.7 billion ($1.04 per share) reported in the prior year.
Dillard's, Inc. announced operating results for the 13 weeks ended July 28, 2012. This release contains certain forward-looking statements. Please refer to the Company's cautionary statements regarding forward-looking information included below under "Forward-Looking Information".
Second Quarter Results
Dillard's reported net income for the 13 weeks ended July 28, 2012 of $31.0 million, or $0.63 per diluted share compared to net income of $17.6 million or $0.32 per share for the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2011. Highlights of the 13 weeks ended July 28, 2012 included:
•A 3% increase in comparable store sales
•Merchandise gross margin improvement of 70 basis points of sales
•Operating expense leverage of 70 basis points of sales
•Repurchase of $134.6 million (2.1 million shares) of Class A Common Stock
Dillard's Chief Executive Officer, William T. Dillard, II, stated, "Continuing on the momentum of a successful first quarter, we are proud to report a 97% increase in second quarter earnings per share. Our 3% sales increase combined with gross margin improvement and control of our expenses enabled us to report a notable improvement in operating results today. Additionally, with strong cash flow during the quarter, we repurchased $134.6 million of Class A Common Stock under our share repurchase program."
Over the six months of 2012, OJSC Ilim Group’s mills in Siberia (the Bratsk and Ust-Ilimsk Mills) manufactured 732,000 tons of pulp and paper products. As compared to the first six months of the previous year, production output remains flat.
This includes 626,000 tons of market pulp, which is slightly better than the similar period performance in 2011.
Board production has amounted to 106,000 tons, going down by 7.7% against the similar period performance in 2011. As in the previous period (Q1 2012), decrease in production output is due to market demand for reduced basis weight board, which leads to output decrease in terms of tons produced. However, in terms of square meters produced, board output remains flat.
Pulp cooking volumes have not changed significantly and amounted to 795,000 tons.
Over the first six months of 2012 wood harvested by Ilim Group totaled 3.4 million cubic meters, going up by 12% as compared to the first six months of 2011.
Future, the international specialist media group and publisher of the UK’s market-leading photography titles, is to launch a new, digital magazine called Photography Week.
On sale in September, Photography Week will be a weekly, Tablet-only, international photography magazine available on the iPad and packed with rich, interactive content that shows readers how to improve their images and get more from their cameras.
Future’s current stable of photography magazines already enjoy huge success on the Apple Newsstand. Digital Camera World is the best-selling digital photography magazine for iPad (Jan-Dec 2011 ABC), and with Canon-only title PhotoPlus, and recent launches N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine and Practical Photoshop, these four magazines’ iPad editions boast more than 1.3 million container app downloads.
Following on from this success, Photography Week has been built specifically for the iPad by the team behind Digital Camera World, using Future’s digital publishing software, Future Folio. This will enable Photography Week to have the kind of interactivity and functionality not yet seen in any weekly photography title.
Cascades Inc., a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces its financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2012.
Q2-2012 Financial Highlights:
Sales of $944 million (compared to $891 million in Q1-2012 (+6%) and $991 million in Q2-2011 (-5%))
Excluding specific items:
EBITDA of $84 million (compared to $72 million in Q1-2012 (+17%) and $62 million in Q2-2011 (+35%))
Net earnings per share of $0.08 (compared to net earnings of $0.04 in Q1-2012 and a net loss of $0.09 in Q2-2011)
Including specific items:
EBITDA of $77 million (compared to $75 million in Q1-2012 (+3%) and $68 million in Q2-2011 (+13%))
Net earnings per share of $0.08 (compared to $0.06 in Q1-2012 and $1.27 in Q2-2011)
Net debt of $1,585 million (compared to $1,524 million as at March 31, 2012), including $134 million of non-recourse debt
Speculation that nations are stockpiling oil at the fastest rate in 14 years is fanning expectations for Brent crude to drop below $100 a barrel.
OPEC pumped 2.1 million barrels a day more than projected demand in April through June, the biggest overproduction for any quarter since 1998, the International Energy Agency estimates. Brent will fall to $93 by September and $83 by year-end, according to the Centre for Global Energy Studies. The increase was little noticed as traders focus on U.S.-led sanctions curbing Iran’s oil exports, Citigroup Inc. said.
Shuttered oil output in nations outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is poised to resume after South Sudan this week agreed on a transit fee with its northern neighbor and Yemen fixed its main crude pipeline. Those two countries will add about 500,000 barrels a day to compete with OPEC, which is pumping the most since 2008. While the world faces the slowest pace of growth in fuel demand since the 2009 recession, crude rallied above $110 this week amid heightened political tensions in Syria.
“There is an overhang of producible oil in the world,” Ed Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodities research, said in a July 31 phone interview from Houston. “We will probably see more Iranian oil lifted or leaked while OPEC continues to produce more than is demanded. If China remains sluggish, oil could drop to the low $90s and even fall into the $80s.”
Neenah Paper, Inc. today reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $0.85 per diluted common share in the second quarter of 2012 compared with earnings of $0.49 per share in the second quarter of 2011. Without adjustments of $0.08 per share ($1.9 million pre-tax) to exclude costs of integrating purchased fine paper brands, earnings on a GAAP basis in the second quarter of 2012 were $0.77 per share. There were no adjusting items in the second quarter of 2011.
Net sales of $211.7 million in the second quarter of 2012 grew 16 percent compared with the second quarter of 2011. Adjusted operating income of $23.9 million increased 52 percent from $15.7 million in the prior year. Adjusted income of $13.9 million increased 78 percent compared to $7.8 million in the prior year. Adjusted earnings are reconciled to GAAP figures later in this release.
"Our businesses set an all-time quarterly record for sales and profits, with Technical Products and Fine Paper each delivering double-digit earnings growth. Our teams are executing well against key objectives of growing high value, performance-oriented Technical Products offerings and delivering the value promised from our expanded Fine Paper business," said John O'Donnell , Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, both businesses are realizing cost benefits from more efficient manufacturing operations; and this, along with our strong market positions, will serve us well in what may be weaker global economic conditions in the second half of the year."
Verso Paper Corp. today reported financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2012.
Verso's net sales for the second quarter of 2012 decreased $33.5 million, or 8.4%, reflecting a 5.5% decrease in the average sales price for all of our products combined with a 3.1% decline in total sales volume, which was driven by the shutdown of three paper machines late last year. Verso's gross margin was 11.5% for the second quarter of 2012 compared to 15.1% for the second quarter of 2011, reflecting the higher average sales prices during 2011.
Verso reported a net loss of $20.7 million in the second quarter of 2012, or $0.39 per diluted share, which included $22.4 million of net benefits from special items, or $0.42 per diluted share, primarily due to debt refinancing. Verso had a net loss of $24.3 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2011, which included $3.7 million of charges from special items, or $0.07 per diluted share.
"Demand in the coated industry continued to be challenged during the second quarter of 2012 which resulted in a delay in the announced price increases during the quarter. This was primarily a result of the drop-off in advertising spending and slowdowns in the commercial print area which are impacted by the sluggish GDP growth. However, our coated groundwood and coated freesheet volumes were relatively flat with last year's levels and we did a good job of managing our pricing relative to overall market demand. Adjusted EBITDA was comparable to the first quarter of this year and slightly better if you exclude the over $5.0 million impact related to scheduled maintenance outages we took during the second quarter," said David Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verso.
Kohl’s Corporation today reported results for the quarter ended July 28, 2012.
Kohl’s Corporation reported second quarter net income of $240 million ($1.00 per diluted share) compared to $299 million ($1.08 per diluted share) a year ago. Net sales were $4.2 billion, a decrease of 1.0 percent for the quarter. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 2.7 percent.
Year to date, net income was $394 million ($1.63 per diluted share) compared to $500 million ($1.76 per diluted share) a year ago. Net sales were $8.4 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 1.3 percent.
Kohl’s ended the quarter with 1,134 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,097 stores at the same time last year. During the first half of the year, the Company opened 9 new stores, including 1 relocated store, closed 1 store and completed 40 remodels. The company expects to open an additional 12 stores and complete an additional 10 remodels in September.
Continuing operations April-June 2012 compared with April-June 2011
• Net sales EUR 413.2 million (EUR 423.7 million).
• Operating profit EUR 7.4 million (EUR 22.1 million).
• Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 13.2 million (EUR 20.4 million).
April-June 2012 in brief
• Weaker operating profit was due to the exceptional foreign exchange rate fluctuations towards the end of the quarter, impacting mainly the Label and Processing business area. In addition, the shortfall in volumes had a negative impact on profitability.
• Ahlstrom continued to successfully launch new products, including air filtration applications for the automotive and heavy duty vehicle industries and announced the expansion of the well-received Acti-V(TM) technology in release papers.
• A manufacturing waste reduction project was completed during the review period. Annual cost savings estimated at EUR 20 million are expected in 2012.
Even the most addicted mobile shopper may get tired of scanning the 250 mobile-activated images in the new issue of Seventeen. In a major push for its back-to-school issue, the magazine has partnered with a wide range of marketing partners to mobilize the in-print experience and turn the magazine into an interactive shopping experience.
Using the new Seventeen Shopping Insider app, readers can scan images associated with shopping bag icons found next to 250 spots across the issue. The scans can add items into a mobile shopping list or unlock coupons in the app. According to Seventeen’s mobile activation partner Nellymoser, this is the broadest use of mobile activations in any issue from a top-100 magazine.
Eighteen advertisers participated in some aspect of the print and mobile app program, including American Rag, Aeropostale, Walgreen’s, Office Depot and many others. “The whole program serves as a bridge from the magazine to the store,” says Seventeen’s Associate Publisher of Marketing, Howard Grier. Driving teens from page to purchase has always been the goal, of course, but with a mobilized shopping list and deals on their devices, “this literally facilitates that,” he says. “You can save it from the magazine and bring it into the store, but this also gives you an incentive to shop as well.”
Quad/Graphics, Inc. today reported results for its second quarter and year-to-date ending June 30, 2012.
Net sales for the second quarter were $934 million versus $977 million for the same period in 2011. Second quarter 2012 Adjusted EBITDA was $112 million compared to $116 million for the same period in 2011, and Adjusted EBITDA margin was 12.0% as compared to 11.9% in 2011. The quarterly results reflect expected volume and pricing pressures. Offsetting these impacts were incremental synergy savings totaling $21 million and lower selling, general and administrative costs.
For the first six months of 2012, net sales were $1.92 billion versus net sales of $2.0 billion for the same period in 2011, reflecting expected volume and price pressures combined with impacts from continued economic uncertainty and secular pressures. Year-to-date Adjusted EBITDA was $238 million versus $258 million in 2011, reflecting lower volumes partially offset by lower selling, general and administrative costs. Recurring Free Cash Flow was $167 million for the first six months of 2012 compared to $102 million in the first six months of 2011, continuing a track record of solid cash flow generation.
Foam holds a very prominent place in the world. It is a virtually ubiquitous commodity in industries everywhere, and for that reason RBL Industries, a packaging manufacturer based in Maryland, has doubled its efforts when it comes to providing custom foam packaging on a higher level.
As President of RBL Industries, Bob Lipsky explains, "You can find foam everywhere, and there's a very good reason for that." He goes on to explain that the many advantageous properties of foam make it an ideal solution for everything from protection to floatation, and especially for custom foam packaging. With this in mind, Lipsky explains that the Maryland packaging manufacturer has endeavored to expand upon the company's ability to provide custom foam packaging to suit the various sizes, shapes, and specifications required by industries everywhere.
By designing and engineering custom foam packaging solutions in polyethylene, polyurethane, and other "next gen" foams, Lipsky explains that the company has had the opportunity to cater foam packaging solutions to the specific needs of market sectors ranging from the military and aerospace industries to the medical industry and beyond. In addition to expanding the packaging company's capabilities to work with a number of new and improved foam materials, Lipsky adds, "And as always, we never stop stocking a large inventory of standard foam packaging products and supplies."
Presstek, Inc., a leading supplier of digital offset printing solutions to the printing and communications industries, today reported financial and operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. The Company reported total revenue of $29.7 million compared to $31.4 million in the second quarter of 2011.
The Company generated positive adjusted EBITDA of $0.8 million for the quarter, an increase of $0.4 million from the prior year. The Company had an operating loss of $0.3 million in the second quarter of 2012 versus an operating loss of $1.2 million in the 2011 second quarter, an improvement of $0.9 million. Cost reduction actions undertaken in the latter half of 2011 contributed significantly to this improvement. During the second quarter of 2012, the Company incurred a net loss of $0.8 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.7 million, or $0.05 per share, in the second quarter of 2011. (See "Information Regarding Non-GAAP Measures")
"While we continue to experience the effects of the difficult economic climate, especially in Europe, our quarterly results reflect continued improvement in EBITDA and a narrowing of our quarterly operating loss. While these results are in large part due to our cost management efforts, we believe that we are positioned for improving results once the overall economic environment improves," said Stanley Freimuth, Presstek's Chairman, President and CEO.
Total revenue in the second quarter was $29.7 million, a decrease of $1.7 million from the second quarter of 2011.
•Equipment revenue increased $0.2 million, to $6.4 million, compared with the same prior year period due primarily to an increase in the number of DI units sold, including the sale of two 75DI units.
•Consumables revenue totaled $17.6 million compared with $19.3 million for the same prior year period resulting primarily from unfavorable economic conditions in Europe as well as the continued gradual erosion of some of our legacy plate product lines.
•Service revenue decreased $0.2 million, to $5.7 million, compared to the prior year quarter due to lower contract revenues resulting from a decrease in active legacy equipment accounts.
Multi-Color Corporation today announced first quarter fiscal 2013 results which sets a good foundation for fiscal 2013.
"Organic revenue growth continues in our largest market of North America, somewhat offset by softer organic European revenues in the quarter. Operating margins are solid but still impacted by integration activities in North and Latin America," said Nigel Vinecombe, President and CEO of Multi-Color Corporation.
First quarter highlights:
Net revenues increased 64% to $165 million from $100.6 million compared to the three months ended June 30, 2011. Net revenues increased 66% or $66.2 million due to acquisitions occurring after June 30, 2011. Organic net revenues increased by 2% due to a favorable impact of pricing and sales mix. Net revenues decreased 4% compared to the prior year quarter due to the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates primarily driven by depreciation in the Australian dollar and the Euro.
Gross profit increased $8.7 million or 39% compared to the first three months of the prior year. Adjusted for special items, gross profit increased $9.2 million or 41%. The increase is primarily due to acquisitions occurring after June 30, 2011 partially offset by a decrease related to the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates in the current quarter. Gross margins, adjusted for special items, decreased to 19% of net revenues compared to 22% of net revenues in the prior year quarter. This reduction in adjusted gross margins is due primarily to lower European sales, integration inefficiencies in North and Latin America and an above average quarter in the prior year. The adjusted gross margin for the three months ended June 30, 2012 is similar to the adjusted gross margin for fiscal year 2012.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations released its semiannual Fas-Fax report for U.S. consumer magazines this morning (Aug. 7). In addition to its “top 25 lists” that look at circulation totals and single-copy sales, this marks the first time ABC has specifically broken out circulation for digital replica editions of consumer magazines.
It comes as no surprise that newsstand sales for 22 or the top 25 consumer magazines fell during the first half of 2012. At more than 1.3 million in single-copy sales, Numerically, Cosmopolitan easily tops the list (1,351,738), though it is down 15.5% versus first-half 2011. Woman’s World ranks second, experiencing a decline of 3.7%. Family Circle, which saw its newsstand sales rise 8%, from 525,358 to 567,632, was the percentage leader among the three exceptions, followed by rival Woman's Day (+6.2%) and Life & Style Weekly (+2.5%).
Walt Disney Co. posted some strong third-quarter fiscal results -- driven in large part by its parks and resorts business unit. Advertising results at its TV networks offered more of a mixed picture.
Net income gained 24% to $1.8 billion with revenues climbing 4%, rising to $11.1 billion in Disney's third quarter.
Disney's media networks witnessed 3% higher revenue, rising to $5.1 billion -- with cable networks climbing 3% to $3.6 billion and broadcasting networks rising 3% to $1.5 billion.
Disney's big revenue generator, ESPN, experienced advertising revenue growth from higher rates, increased units sold and improved ratings -- resulting from a shift in the timing of NBA games because of the late start of the season from the NBA lockout. Disney executives say revenues grew in the "mid-teens" percentage during the period that ended in June.
But recent TV advertising business -- especially at ESPN and its other networks -- has been hurt. Jay Rasulo, senior executive vp and chief financial officer of Walt Disney Co., said: "Our business has been impacted by the Olympics."
Fortress Paper Ltd. reported 2012 second quarter EBITDA of $2.3 million. For the first quarter of 2012, EBITDA loss was $1.8 million and for the second quarter of 2011, EBITDA was $4.6 million.
Excluding corporate costs, the three business segments’ combined EBITDA was $3.6 million in the 3 months ended June 30, 2012. The Specialty Papers Segment contributed $10.5 million EBITDA while the Dissolving Pulp Segment and the Security Paper Products Segment generated EBITDA losses of $0.7 million and $6.2 million, respectively. Corporate costs contributed to EBITDA loss in the amount of $1.3 million.
Net income for the second quarter of 2012 was $12.5 million or basic and diluted net income of $0.87 per share. In the prior quarter net loss was $10.5 million or diluted loss per share of $0.73. In the prior year comparative period, net income was $2.9 million or diluted net income per share of $0.19. The much improved current period result was primarily due to the gain realized on the sale of certain non-core assets in the Security Paper Products Segment.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation’s semi-annual Fas-Fax report for U.S. consumer magazines shows what many in this sector of the magazine industry were expecting—a decrease in total circulation and newsstand sales.
For the first time, the report breaks out figures for standalone digital replicas, which now account for 1.7 percent of total circulation. There are 258 U.S. magazines reporting more than 5.4 million digital replica editions, which more than doubled from 2 million in the first half of 2011.
Of the top 25 U.S. consumer magazines, 14 saw a decrease in paid verified circulation, with Hearst’s Woman’s Day losing the most in that category by 10.7 percent. The biggest gainer was Game Stop’s Game Informer magazine, increasing its total paid and verified circulation by 37.2 percent to more than 8.1 million.
Condé Nast’s Glamour saw a 3.0 percent increase in its total paid and verified circulation, and Meredith’s Family Circle saw an increase of 7.4 percent—the only other publications other than Game Informer to see an increase above 0.9 percent.
The newsstand is suffering for consumer magazines across the board—21 of the top 25 publications saw a decrease in the number of single copy sales. The biggest losers included Weight Watchers (27.5 percent), Vanity Fair (18.8 percent), People (18.6 percent), O, The Oprah Magazine (17.9 percent), Vogue (16.5 percent) and Cosmopolitan (15.5 percent).
Only four of the top 25 publications saw an increase in newsstand sales—Food Network Magazine (17.8 percent), Family Circle (8.0 percent), Woman’s Day (6.2 percent) and Life and Style Weekly (2.5 percent).
Oil slid from the highest close in more than two months in New York amid signs of weakening demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer, and slowing growth in Germany.
Futures fell as much as 0.9 percent, dropping for the first time in four days. Crude consumption declined 4 percent to 15.9 million barrels a day last week, the biggest percentage decrease in a month, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed. Gasoline usage was the lowest since February, according to the API figures. German industrial production declined in June, led by a drop in construction output, data from the Economy Ministry in Berlin showed today.
“There are no signs of growth coming out of Europe’s largest economies,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, who correctly predicted at the end of last month that oil would rebound. “Oil looks poised for a short-term downward retracement today.”
Oil for September delivery decreased as much as 85 cents to $92.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $93.10 at 11:29 a.m. London time. It climbed 1.6 percent yesterday to $93.67, the highest settlement since May 15. The contract has rebounded 19 percent from its low this year of $77.69 on June 28.
Concern over the economy and anticipation of higher expenses brought the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor to its lowest level of the year in July. The Monitor, a 5-year-old daily poll tracking economic confidence and spending intentions of nearly 8,200 consumers throughout the month, declined 1.4 points to 89.3. The monitor last dropped below 90 in December 2011.
The percentage of respondents reporting the U.S. economy as poor remained steady at 53 percent. However, consumers who expect the economy to get worse increased four percentage points from the prior month to 53 percent in June. This is the first time in 2012 that more than half of respondents felt this way.
There was a significant increase in the percent of men who feel the economy is getting worse, up nine percentage points from June at 57 percent. The number of women feeling this way remained unchanged at 50 percent.
While 57 percent of married people expect the economy to get worse (an increase of three percentage points from June), only 48 percent of single people expect the economy to get worse. However, this was a substantial increase from only 40 percent of single people with the same expectation in June.
Buckeye Technologies Inc. today announced record sales and earnings for fiscal year 2012. Net sales for the year (adjusted to exclude discontinued Americana operations) were $895 million, a new record and up $14 million or 2% compared to fiscal 2011, as higher selling prices offset a $10MM sales reduction due to the divestiture of our King converting business and lower shipment volumes from both our Foley wood specialty mill and our nonwovens business. Adjusted net income* for the 2012 fiscal year was a record $111 million, or $2.76 per share, compared to $91 million or $2.23 per share in fiscal 2011. The growth in adjusted net income was due to significantly higher selling prices for our high-end specialty wood and cotton fiber products which more than offset the impact of lower fluff pulp prices. Net income also benefited in fiscal year 2012 from reduced selling, research and administrative expenses and lower interest expense.
Fourth quarter adjusted net income* was $26.2 million or $0.66 per share. This excludes net after-tax charges of $2.8 million, or $0.08 per share, primarily relating to the sale of our Americana, Brazil cotton linter pulp plant and adjustments relating to the cellulosic biofuel credit. Adjusted net income* was off slightly compared to the prior year period’s $27.8 million or $0.68 per share, which excluded an after-tax non-cash asset impairment charge of $13.0 million, or $0.32 per share, relating to plans to close our Canadian nonwovens plant by the end of December 2012 as well as other special items of $0.6 million or $0.01 per share.
Net sales were $225 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, down $24 million or 10% versus record net sales of $249 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 (which have been adjusted to exclude discontinued Americana operations). About $5 million of the reduction in sales was related to the divestiture of our King converting business.
Macy’s, Inc. today reported earnings of 67 cents per diluted share for the second quarter of 2012, ended July 28, 2012. This represents a 22 percent increase in earnings per share from earnings of 55 cents per diluted share in the second quarter of 2011.
Macy’s, Inc.’s diluted earnings per share in the first half were $1.09, an increase of 27 percent compared with earnings of 86 cents per share in the first half of 2011.
Sales in the second quarter totaled $6.118 billion, up 3.0 percent from total sales of $5.939 billion in the second quarter of 2011. On a same-store basis, Macy’s, Inc.’s second quarter sales were up 3.0 percent in 2012 as compared to the second quarter of 2011.
For the year to date, Macy’s, Inc. sales totaled $12.261 billion, up 3.7 percent from total sales of $11.828 billion in the first 26 weeks of 2011. On a same-store basis, Macy’s, Inc.’s first half sales were up 3.7 percent in 2012 as compared to the first half of 2011.
After Voith carried out a rebuild of the Eilenburg PM 1 at Stora Enso Sach-sen, Germany, the paper machine was successfully started up again in May 2012. The aims of Stora Enso were to improve runability and to elimi-nate existing bottlenecks in the system. Furthermore, the maximum operat-ing speed of the paper machine was increased to 2,000 m/min, corre-sponding to a production increase of about 10% (depending on the grade range). Already one month after rebuild, the operation speed exceeded 1,900 m/min.
With the rebuild a new NipcoFlex press module was installed, which has increased the dryness content after the press by 3-4% after just a short time. In addition, a new exhaust system in the wet end and a JetCleaner for cleaning the bottom wire provide for more cleanliness and thus im-proved runability. The old calender was replaced by a Janus calender so as to increase the paper quality. The project also included a rebuild of the dryer section together with fabric stretchers, fabric guides and the machine air ventilation system. A new trim cutter and a new threading system com-pleted the scope of supply.
Stora Enso Sachsen produces newsprint and telephone book paper in the basis weight range of 34 to 48.8 g/m². It uses 100% recycled fibers.
“The profitability of UPM’s businesses improved in the first half of the year 2012 compared to the second half of 2011. We achieved this by continuing our consistent work to reduce fixed costs. Furthermore, sales prices and raw material costs developed favourably.
In the second quarter, our growth businesses – Energy, Pulp, Asian Paper and Label - maintained strong profitability. However, the Group’s operating profit was affected by the exceptional quarter in Other operations, mainly due to fair value losses in currency hedges.
In Paper, deliveries recovered somewhat from the previous quarter, although this was offset by seasonally higher fixed costs. Myllykoski cost synergies were well on track with two thirds of planned benefits already realised. Despite this, Paper’s profitability level remains unacceptable.
•Earnings per share excluding special items were EUR 0.14 (0.26), and reported EUR 0.17 (0.56)
•EBITDA was EUR 316 million, 12.1% of sales (372 million, 15.4% of sales)
•EBITDA was affected by seasonally higher fixed costs and fair value losses of cash flow hedges
•Net debt decreased by EUR 71 million to EUR 3,385 million after the dividend payment and asset sales
UPM takes further steps to reshape its business portfolio and expands in profitable growth businesses in Asia. The company will increase its presence in the attractive Asian paper segments and strengthen its position in the label materials value chain by building a new woodfree speciality paper machine at its Changshu mill in China.
“This move is aligned with our strategic target to have more than 50 % of our sales from well performing growth businesses in the latter part of the decade. It supports our growth in China and provides an excellent platform to strengthen partnerships with self-adhesive labelstock customers and expand into new end uses in Asia. It also supports the good profitability of our growth businesses”, says Jussi Pesonen, UPM’s President and CEO.
The new machine is an uncoated woodfree speciality machine capable of producing up to 360,000 tonnes of uncoated woodfree grades and high quality label papers. The machine will start up by the end of 2014. The investment will also include future-oriented infrastructure investments in the Changshu site. The total investment cost is CNY 3,000 million (EUR 390 million). In addition, UPM Changshu is finalising a 100,000 tonnes cut-size sheeting line investment which strengthens the Group’s leading position in office paper grades in China.
Both label paper and uncoated woodfree papers have a healthy demand outlook in Asia. The annual growth of UPM’s label paper mix is expected to be 8 % in Asia and 4 % globally. In uncoated woodfree grades, UPM focuses on high quality office paper, where the Chinese market is expected to grow by 8 % annually.
Stora Enso North America Corp., a former unit of the Finnish commercial printing products company, must face an antitrust lawsuit brought by its customers, a federal appeals court ruled, reversing a trial judge’s dismissal of the case.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan said today that a jury could potentially find that the company, which was sold to Newpage Corp. in 2007, conspired to fix prices. The three-judge panel affirmed the lower court’s decision to throw out the case against its former Helsinki-based parent, Stora Enso Oyj (STEAV), for lack of evidence.
Paper buyers alleged that executives at Stora Enso’s then- U.S. unit and another Finnish paper maker, Helsinki-based UPM- Kymmene Ojy (UPM1V), engaged in secret meetings and conspired to fix prices in 2002 and 2003, according to the decision. Damages for the plaintiffs were estimated to be as much as $102.5 million, the decision said.
“We hold that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to SENA because a jury could reasonably find that SENA and UPM entered into an agreement to raise the price of publication paper, and that, as implemented, this agreement damaged plaintiffs,” U.S. Appeals Court Judge Susan L. Carney said in the decision.
The civil case followed an earlier criminal probe by the Department of Justice. A jury in the criminal case acquitted SENA of U.S. antitrust law violations in 2007, the appeals court said.
The House has left Washington without passing a fix to the Postal Service, and Republicans now say they are not likely to bring the issue to the floor until after November’s elections.
House Republicans acknowledge that postal reform could be a tough vote for some of their members, with the issue not breaking down as cleanly along ideological lines as subjects such as the Bush-era tax rates the House voted on just before leaving for recess.
But sponsors of the House GOP postal bill suggest another factor at play as well: Lawmakers don't know exactly when the Postal Service might hit a doomsday date when they wouldn't be able to deliver the mail.
With mail volume declining, the Postal Service is currently losing $25 million a day, and recently defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment, earmarked for future retiree benefits, to the U.S. Treasury. The agency has another payment of roughly the same size due at the end of next month, which it also says it won’t be able to pay.
But postal officials have added that, at least in the short-term, that default won’t affect their ability to deliver the mail and pay their employees.
And with Congress having a habit of waiting to act until a deadline looms, that could give the House even less incentive to bring the bill to the floor before their members face voters in November.
Total operating income of all shopping centers on a square-foot basis in the second quarter of 2012 rose 4.9% from the same quarter last year, while operating expenses rose by a larger 5.8%, according to a new quarterly shopping-center benchmarking report from The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Despite expenses outpacing income gains, net operating income (NOI) per square foot actually improved by a solid 4.5% in the quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2011.
“Second-quarter NOI for the shopping-center industry helped increase the total investment return by 3.0% over that same period,” said Jeffrey R. Havsy, director of research for NCREIF. “Retail was the best performing property type in the second quarter and occupancy rates for all-shopping centers remained steady at 90%.”
Shopping center performance in the United States differs widely by type of sub-sector, according to real estate data collected by NCREIF. The net operating income of powers centers during the second quarter energized the industry with its 8.6% year-over-year gain. Neighborhood-center net operating income posted a 6.1% gain, while super-regional malls gained 5.4%, compared with the same quarter of the prior year. However, the metric for community centers and regional malls were down in the quarter.
Last night (Aug. 6), American Media Inc. chairman/president/CEO (since April 1999) David Pecker announced the acquisition of the weekly Soap Opera Digest from Source Interlink Media. The news was no surprise, because AMI had managed SOD for some time, with group publisher David Jackson already reporting to Pecker. Editor-in-chief Stephanie Sloane now reports to him, too.
The price was not disclosed, but it had to be far less than the $600 million that K-III Magazines (later Primedia) paid News Corp. in July 1991 for SOD, New York magazine, Seventeen, and other titles. Then, SOD''s circulation was close to 1.5 million, as tv soap operas were the rage. That continued through the late-1990s/early-2000s, when the brand expanded to included the NBC-televised Soap Opera Awards.
Now, SOD's circ is below 300,000 as such soaps as All My Children, The Guiding Light and One Life to Live have gone by the wayside and others--led by the venerated General Hospital--are hanging by a thread. What is now the daytime darling are the talk shows.
EFI™, a world leader in digital printing innovation, has launched the M500 Self-Serve Copy and Print Station, the industry's only self-serve system that allows mobile printing from mobile phones, iPads, USB drives and cloud accounts like Google Drive™, Dropbox, Box, and EFI PrintMe®. The M500 station is unique in that it accepts credit cards, campus cards, and cash cards at the device, eliminating the need for coin-operated machines. The system is also Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) validated to assist in Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance audits. The M500 station is available immediately through EFI resellers, and a video of how the system works can be seen online here.
"Students today are more digital, more mobile, and keep more documents in the cloud," said John Henze, vice president of Fiery marketing at EFI. "Antiquated devices like coin-operated copiers are not meeting their printing needs and create cash management headaches for university staff. EFI's M500 station provides the easiest way for users to access, pay and print in a completely self-serve environment."
Tablets, mobile phones and laptops, as well as the use of online cloud storage, are the new tools for students. According to a Harris Interactive poll, the number of students using tablets has tripled over the past year, and 36 percent of the college students surveyed plan to buy a tablet in the next six months. Additionally, 63 percent believe that tablets will replace textbooks in the next five years. At the same time, printed documents and materials are still a requirement at most universities.