Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee hits online and in stores on March 3, signaling the end of “showrooming.” Best Buy will price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.
Best Buy is the only retailer to offer a Low Price Guarantee in addition to having a full range of the latest and greatest devices and services, a sales force dedicated to providing impartial and knowledgeable advice and full support for the life of the product.
Twin Rivers Paper Company, a leader in lightweight specialty packaging, label and publishing papers, expands its footprint in the specialty packaging market through the introduction of Acadia® Extruding Base. This uncoated, machine-finished paper is ideal for polymer-extrusion coating applications such as sugar packets, salt and pepper packets, flavor packets, freezer papers, and dried soup pouches.
Acadia® Extruding Base offers optimal strength, printability and runnability for package designs. It maintains its stiffness and stability when laminated to other substrates and is optimized for converting and filling efficiency. FDA compliant for direct and indirect food contact, it is available in natural fiber and custom color options.
“We are committed to broadening our reach in the specialty packaging markets,” says Dave Deger, Director of Business Development and Marketing. “Acadia® Extruding Base offers our customers a high performing solution for their extrusion coating applications backed up by over 20 years of specialty packaging expertise.”
American Media, Inc., the leading content centric media company specializing in celebrity journalism and health and fitness in the U.S., today reported its financial results for the third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2012.
Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 was $85 million, compared to $88 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2012, representing a 3% decrease. For the nine months ended December 31, 2012, revenue was $262 million, as compared to $286 million, an 8% decrease, compared to prior year. The decrease in revenue during both the quarter and nine-month periods primarily reflected the negative impact of Superstorm Sandy, the shift of print advertising dollars to broadcast for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the overall general market weakness for advertising spending due to the continued downturn in the U.S. economy.
Operating income before impairment charges for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 was $12 million, or $0.8 million higher than the prior year's third quarter. For the nine months ended December 31, 2012, operating income before impairment charges was $38 million, or $7 million lower than the prior-year period. The decrease in operating income during the nine-month period was primarily due to the above-mentioned decrease in revenue, as well as duplicative expenses incurred in connection with Superstorm Sandy, partially offset by cost reductions generated by the Company as it implemented its management action plans.
Digital audiences for magazines are growing fast, with big increases in consumption via apps and Web sites. The Web sites for two major magazines, Forbes and Cooking Light, have reported big increases in traffic in January.
Forbes.com had a record January 2013, with 16 million unique visitors during the month according to comScore -- an increase of 26% over January 2012, and a 67% increase since it was relaunched in June 2010. According to Forbes, the Web site content -- around 400-500 original pieces of content per day, produced by around 1,000 topic experts and a core group of full-time reporters -- generates over 100,000 social actions per day.
Whereas less than 1% of visits came from social sites in 2010, about 8% to 10% of visits to Forbes.com are now referred from social networks. The mobile audience has increased 150% compared to last year, and now comprises around 30% of the total audience.
The Forbes Web site is also generating more ad revenue thanks to BrandVoice, which allows marketers to create custom content on the site as well as bigger, more interactive ad units and programmatic selling.
Cooking Light is also reporting strong growth, thanks to increased traffic from social sites and mobile. In January, the site had 2 million unique visitors -- up 47% from January 2012 -- and 20 million page views, up 57% over the same period. The volume of traffic received from social media sites increased 114%, while mobile traffic is up 106% from February-December 2012. According to Folio:, a large share of the social referrals are coming from Pinterest.
INTERNATIONAL FOREST PRODUCTS LIMITED reported net income of $3.7 million or $0.07 per share before one-time items and share-based compensation expense in the fourth quarter of 2012.
These results compare with net earnings, reported on the same basis, of $2.9 million in the third quarter of 2012 and a loss of $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
EBITDA for the quarter, adjusted to exclude one-time items, other income and the effects of share-based compensation, was $19.4 million compared with $17.2 million in the third quarter and $7.7 million in the fourth quarter last year.
One-time items and share-based compensation amounted to $7.3 million in the fourth quarter.
The Company’s results in the current quarter were negatively impacted by certain costs associated with the rebuild of the Grand Forks sawmill, which was curtailed on November 9th and resumed operations on December 3rd. The estimated impact of these costs on earnings and EBITDA in the fourth quarter was $2.8 million.
Since resuming operations, the Grand Forks mill has been moving through its start-up processes and is currently running at approximately 97% of proforma.
Future, the international specialist media group and leading digital publisher, today unveils the latest round of ABC figures for the period ending December 2012*.
The consumer engagement of Future’s Entertainment Group as a whole is now at a record high, delivering a global reach over 20.2m, up 29% year-on-year**. Following the appointment of Clair Porteous as Head of Entertainment in October last year, the Entertainment management team has been restructured to make it more agile and equipped to deal with the ever-changing media landscape. The Group engages with its audiences across a multitude of platforms including online, social media, on mobile, through video, live events and in print and digital editions.
Finch Paper’s FIT Color Management & Workflow Services team recently spent three days at Ricoh’s Solutions Center in Boulder, CO assisting their digital output solutions team in achieving consistent, G7 Color on their flagship InfoPrint aqueous continuous form inkjet platforms, the InfoPrint 5000 family.
FIT’s innovative, collaborative work with Original Equipment Manufacturers like Ricoh helps to ensure our print customers’ success as they adapt to new printing technologies.
Integrating G7 gray balance into Ricoh’s aqueous inkjet workflow allows for consistent color output, from machine-to-machine and job-to-job, as well as ensuring color balance on Finch’s various substrates.
Finch Digital Application Manager Mary Schilling, who leads the FIT color team, said “The Ricoh team has designed a user-friendly machine workflow which allows the creation of custom color profiling for its InfoPrint 5000 platforms.”
AAA Fuel Gage 2/15/13
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.643/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.294/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.523/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $4.098/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.019/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.938/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 2/15/13
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.997745
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.160364
American Dollar to Euro = 1.332036
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.010796
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.078658
West Texas Intermediate oil fell, trimming its ninth weekly gain in 10 weeks. Open interest for the U.S. benchmark grade rose to a record while a report signaled OPEC will cut crude shipments this month.
WTI fell as much 0.7 percent in New York, paring its advance this week to 1.1 percent. Prices gained 0.3 percent yesterday as the number of contracts outstanding rose to the highest level since the futures began trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange in March 1983. OPEC will cut exports by 0.9 percent this month, according to a tanker tracker. Data on U.S. industrial production later today is forecast to show a third- straight month of expansion.
“Fundamentals are acceptably balanced for now,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark.
Crude for March delivery declined as much as 70 cents to $96.61 a barrel in electronic trading in New York and was at $96.73 at 11:37 a.m. London time.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate reintroduced a bill on Thursday that would pave the way for tax collection by online retailers.
The Marketplace Fairness Act authorizes state governments to require most out-of-state retailers to collect tax from consumers. The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), has garnered bipartisan support from more than 50 Senators and Representatives.
Backers say the bill will make brick-and-mortar stores -- which must collect sales tax -- more competitive with online retailers. Currently, out-of-state stores, including online retailers, can't be required to collect sales tax unless they have an in-state presence, such as a physical location. While consumers are supposed to self-report their online purchases and pay sales taxes, observers think that many people don't fully do so.
The measure unveiled on Thursday is similar to a bill introduced in 2011, but with a few revisions. Among the most significant is that the current bill has an exception for small businesses with less than $1 million in sales, while the previous measure only exempted businesses who took in less than $500,000.
Best Buy Co., Inc., the largest consumer electronics retailer applauded federal legislation introduced today that gives individual states the authority to apply sales tax collection laws fairly to all sellers, regardless of selling channel. The Marketplace Fairness Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Durbin, Heitkamp, Alexander and Enzi and U.S. House Representatives Womack, Noem, Speier, Conyers and Welch, would update old laws – established well before the days of online shopping – that only applied to retailers, like Best Buy, that had physical locations. This legislation would allow states to enforce their own existing sales tax laws on all retailers who do business in the state, giving states more authority over their own fiscal matters.
“We fully support and encourage Congress to pass this long overdue and widely supported reform,” said Hubert Joly. “The retail environment is much different today than when these laws were originally passed –long before the Internet even existed. Today’s highly competitive marketplace allows consumers to shop how they want, when they want and where they want. It is critical that today’s sales tax laws reflect this new world, because when businesses compete fairly consumers and communities benefit.”
Best Buy currently collects and remits sales taxes from consumers in all states that impose one, including sales made instore, by phone and online on www.bestbuy.com
Amcor announces today it has agreed to acquire select printing assets of AGI-Shorewood’s Tobacco Packaging and Specialty Folding Carton Operations for US$114.8 million. The acquired business has plants or assets in each of South Korea, USA, Mexico and China. The acquisition excludes the AGI-Shorewood plant in Smiths Falls, Canada.
The acquisition expands Amcor’s business in the higher growth regions of Asia and Latin America and includes specialty folding carton production assets in the United States. In Mexico it builds on the position established by Amcor following the recent acquisition of Aluprint.
For the 2012 calendar year the acquired business had sales of US$126 million and EBITDA of US$22 million. The EBITDA purchase multiple is 5.2 times based on the last twelve months of earnings.
Net synergy benefits are anticipated to be approximately US$13 million and the net cash cost to achieve these synergies is expected to be approximately US$20 million. The acquisition is expected to deliver a return on investment of more than 20% by the end of year three.
Canfor Corporation today reported net income attributable to shareholders of $21.6 million, or $0.15 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $22.2 million, or $0.16 per share, for the third quarter of 2012 and a shareholder net loss of $44.1 million, or $0.31 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the shareholder net income was $32.1 million, or $0.22 per share, compared to a net loss of $56.6 million, or $0.40 per share, for 2011.
The shareholder net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 included various items affecting comparability with prior periods, which had an overall positive impact on the Company’s results of $1.2 million, or $0.01 per share. After adjusting for such items, the Company’s adjusted shareholder net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $22.8 million, or $0.16 per share, up $7.5 million, or $0.05 per share, from an adjusted shareholder net income of $15.3 million, or $0.11 per share, for the third quarter of 2012, and an adjusted shareholder net loss of $32.1 million, or $0.22 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s adjusted shareholder net income was $26.9 million, or $0.18 per share, in contrast to an adjusted shareholder net loss of $31.7 million, or $0.22 per share, for 2011.
The Company reported operating income of $50.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, an improvement of $27.8 million from $22.3 million reported for the third quarter of 2012. The increase was mostly attributable to the continuing recovery in the U.S. housing market and improved operational performance at Canfor Pulp’s Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) pulp mills. North American #2&Btr dimension lumber prices showed strong gains, particularly in December. Pricing to offshore markets, much of which is negotiated monthly or quarterly in advance, showed solid gains but lagged those in North America. Results also reflected higher market stumpage and seasonally higher manufacturing costs, as well as an accounting gain related to the Company’s salaried post retirement benefit plans.
A fire broke at the reel warehouse of Metsä Board Corporation’s Gohrsmühle mill in Germany early in the morning of 15 February 2013. Several fire rescue departments’ units from the neighboring areas arrived on the mill site and the work to put out the fire continues. According to current information there is no danger of the fire spreading to a wider area. No personal injuries have occurred.
Metsä Board produces cast coated Chromolux papers and has folding boxboard sheeting operations, launched in autumn 2012, at the Gohrsmühle mill.
The sheeting operations at the site will be stopped for some time due to the fire and customers will be informed about the possible impacts on the deliveries in due course. According to current understanding, the fire is not expected to have any material impact on Metsä Board’s total folding boxboard deliveries nor any material result impact for Metsä Board.
InnerWorkings Inc., a leading global marketing supply chain company, today reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.
Record revenue of $208.0 million, an increase of 19 percent compared to revenue of $175.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Growth was driven by 16 percent organic growth in this quarter versus the fourth quarter of 2011.
Record adjusted cash flow generated from operations of $21.9 million, an increase of 94 percent compared to $11.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Record adjusted EBITDA of $12.5 million, compared to $11.2 million in the year-earlier period.
Fiscal Year Highlights:
Record revenue for fiscal year 2012 of $797.7 million, an increase of 26 percent compared to revenue of $633.8 million in fiscal year 2011. Growth was driven by 19 percent organic growth year-over-year.
Adjusted cash flow generated from operations of $20.7 million in 2012, compared to $29.0 million in fiscal year 2011.
Adjusted EBITDA was $45.3 million, an increase of 20 percent compared to $37.6 million in fiscal year 2011.
Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce that they have been notified by the US Department of Justice that it has closed its investigation into the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House, without conditions.
The two companies announced their agreement to combine Penguin and Random House in October 2012. The proposed merger is currently under review by the European Commission, the Canadian Competition Bureau and various other antitrust authorities around the world. Pearson and Bertelsmann continue to expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2013, after all necessary approvals have been received.
Following completion, Bertelsmann will own 53% and Pearson 47% of Penguin Random House. It will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group’s publishing units in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s operations in China and Random House’s publishers in Spain and Latin America. Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organisation, the world’s leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.
Iggesund Paperboard’s production of Invercote in Iggesund, Sweden in 2012 surpassed all previous environmental achievements at the mill. Despite record-high manufacturing levels, emissions of environmentally harmful substances were lower than ever before.
“In a paper industry, the environmentally harmful emissions, above all to water, are usually proportional to production, that is, the more you make, the more you emit,” explains Anna Mårtensson, environmental manager at Iggesund Mill.
“But 2012 was a very positive exception for us. Even though our production was the most it’s ever been, our emissions were the lowest ever – or at least, as far back as we have reliable measurement data.”
Over the years Iggesund has taken a variety of steps to reduce its emissions. Fairly early on, the mill began separating out the leftover fibres that had passed through the pulping process with the aid of mechanical purification in sedimentation basins. In the 1970s another step was taken with the construction of an aerated lagoon, where microorganisms clean the wastewater to a higher standard. In 2009 the mill added a third stage, chemical purification, in which the wastewater is treated in the same way that drinking water is treated.
“Now we can clearly see the effects of the third stage,” Mårtensson says. “The oxygen-consuming substances have been greatly reduced and nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, which are so harmful to the marine ecosystem in the Baltic Sea, have been almost halved.”
Resolute Forest Products might be in a position to decide what it will do with its Fort Frances mill later this spring.
During a conference call Tuesday coinciding with the announcement of Resolute’s preliminary fourth quarter and 2012 results, Resolute president and CEO Richard Garneau said the company currently is looking to reposition the mill here.
There’s an investigation underway as to what kinds of grades the company can use, he noted.
“In two, three, four months, we should be in a position to determine what the future of the mill is going to look like,” Garneau said during the conference call.
“We’re certainly optimistic that we can reposition the mill,” he added. “There’s a good fibre base, as you know.
“There is a large co-gen—45 megawatt—that we are now running at probably two-thirds of its capacity.”
Garneau said he thinks the local mill has advantages going for it that the company can utilize.
“But we have to find the right niche and also find a way not to spend too much money to convert it,” he stressed.
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told a Senate committee today that the Postal Service’s financial problems are more urgent than ever and will continue to get worse until Congress takes action to reform its business model. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Donahoe said the Postal Service will continue to take aggressive steps to increase revenue and reduce operating expenses but needs legislative changes from Congress to help return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.
To preserve our mission to provide secure, reliable, and affordable universal delivery service, the Postal Service needs urgent reform to its business model,” stated Donahoe. “The American people deserve a financially healthy Postal Service. We will continue to work together with Congress to achieve that goal.”
Specifically, the Postal Service is seeking legislative provisions that would:
•Require the Postal Service to sponsor its own health care plan
•Reform the USPS business model to remove restrictions that prevent the Postal Service from responding to the demands of the marketplace, and to enable it to compete much more effectively in a dynamic business environment
•Transition the Postal Service to a new workforce based on a redefined “employee of the future.” This would include a personal retirement contribution plan for employees joining the Postal Service after 2015 – versus a defined benefit plan
•Provide a proper calculation of its Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) surplus based upon data specific to the postal workforce, and then allow those funds to reduce the debt of the Postal Service
•Avoid restrictions on the announced move to a six-day package, five-day mail delivery schedule.
The Postal Service needs the help of Congress to close a $20 billion budget gap.
SCA Containerboard announces a price increase for unbleached kraftliner by € 40 per ton from March 1st.
The containerboard market has remained strong in the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. The demand in Europe is healthy for both unbleached kraftliner and for testliner. SCA Containerboard therefore intends to increase the prices for unbleached kraftliner in continental Europe by € 40 per ton anc in the UK by £ 35 per ton.
Mercer International Inc. today reported results for the fourth quarter and for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Operating EBITDA* in the fourth quarter of 2012 was €21.3 million ($27.6 million), compared to €17.0 million ($22.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011 and €22.3 million ($27.9 million) in the third quarter of 2012. For 2012, Operating EBITDA was €107.1 million ($137.7 million), compared to €167.1 million ($232.6 million) in 2011.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, we had a net loss of €5.2 million ($6.7 million), or €0.09 ($0.12) per basic share, compared to a net loss of €1.8 million ($2.4 million), or €0.03 ($0.04) per basic share, in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a net loss of €9.7 million ($12.1 million), or €0.17 ($0.21) per basic share, for the third quarter of 2012. For 2012, we reported net loss of €12.2 million ($15.7 million), or €0.22 ($0.28) per basic share, compared to net income of €50.1 million ($69.7 million), or €1.00 ($1.39) per basic share, in 2011.
The parent company of Time Inc. is considering selling a number of big titles, including People, InStyle, and Real Simple, according to a report on the Web site of Fortune, owned by Time Inc. Fortune is not included in the potential divestiture; the company would also keep flagship Time andSports Illustrated, according to the same report.
Time Inc. has been in talks with BDT Capital Partners and an unnamed “serious buyer” about the potential sale, according to Fortune. BDT has a relationship with Warren Buffett, who has recently scooped up a number of ailing print media properties in the newspaper business at bargain prices.
However, Fortune cautions that the talks are at a preliminary stage, and “may never come to fruition.”
Time Inc. did not respond to MediaPost email inquiries at press time.
The sale of People, one of the biggest magazines in the world and Time Inc.’s most lucrative asset, would signal a definite move away from magazine publishing by Time Warner. It has repeatedly come under pressure from shareholders to shed its beleaguered publishing division and focus on more profitable areas like cable TV and movies.
Indeed, while Time and Sports Illustrated remain iconic brands, they are dwarfed by the equally iconic People, which posted rate card revenues of $993 million in 2012, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, compared to $577 million for SI and $396 million for Time. With the addition of InStyle, with rate card revenues of $435.2 million, and Real Simple, at $242 million, Time Warner would be unloading the better part of its magazine business.
Separately, Time Inc. recently undertook another round of layoffs, in a cost-cutting move possibly intended to make the company more appealing to potential buyers.
KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation today reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012.
For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012:
•Record net sales of $301 million, up 12% versus 2011
•Diluted EPS of $0.22, down $1.34 per share versus prior year
For the year ended December 31, 2012:
•Record net sales of $1,217 million, up $311 million versus 2011, or 34%
•Diluted EPS of $1.31, down $1.30 per share versus 2011
Roger W. Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Fourth quarter completed a transformational year for KapStone as we successfully integrated our 2011 acquisition of U.S. Corrugated. The acquisition has been a significant contributor to KapStone's earnings this year, and we expect additional benefits in 2013.
"Average mill revenue per ton increased during the quarter by approximately $14 to $634 as our fall domestic containerboard price increase was fully implemented by the end of the quarter. Our corrugated operations realized the benefits from their fall price increase with most of the increase implemented by December. In the fourth quarter, we completed major planned maintenance at two of our mills which resulted in the loss of 12,500 tons of production. For the year, our mills ran very well, and our legacy mills achieved an all-time production record for the year of 1.32 million tons.
"Cash flow from operations for 2012 reached $158 million, a $21 million increase over 2011. Given the strength of our cash flows and the uncertain tax environment, we paid a special dividend of $2.00 per share on over 47 million shares in late December."
Future, the international specialist media group and leading digital publisher, today announced an increase in circulation across the whole of its photography portfolio, with Digital Camera taking individual market leadership for the first time, and Future becoming officially the leading photography publisher in the UK.
Flagship brand Digital Camera is up year-on-year with a combined print and digital circulation rise of 0.8%, making it the market leader for the first time, breaking a decades-long dominance of titles from Bauer.
Canon-specific mag PhotoPlus saw similar results with a combined increase of 0.3%.
Digital growth of 149% for Digital Camera and 338% for Photo Plus follows major investment by Future in its tablet editions and its own FutureFolio digital magazine software.
Canada’s forest products industry can uniquely respond to emerging trends in the global construction industry by offering new customized wood products and pre-fabricated solutions of the highest environmental quality. If the industry takes up the challenge, it could gain a larger slice of the estimated $8 trillion a year global construction market that is growing at 8% a year.
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and its partners at FPInnovations undertook the Construction Value Pathways initiative to explore opportunities for forest products companies to diversify, transform and add value beyond their traditional markets and products.
“Our study identifies different ways that Canada’s mills can work directly with builders and architects to devise new innovative products and approaches that are environmentally attractive.” says David Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC. “This will help the Canadian forest products industry reach our Vision2020 goal of generating another $20 billion in economic activity through new products and markets by the end of the decade.”
“This is a time of significant change in the construction industry.” says Jonathan Westeinde, founder of Windmill Development Group and external project lead on the initiative. “Urbanization and intensification are driving a higher demand for multi-residential units globally. There is an increasing trend to retrofit and renovate existing homes and buildings in mature Western markets where growth is slowing. The skilled labour shortage and desire for green building solutions are also changing the landscape. This study suggests that we can set our sights on working closely with the construction industry and be a world leader in a wide range of building systems.”
Catalyst Paper announced today that it has agreed, subject to court approval, to sell its approximately 50% interest in Powell River Energy Inc. and Powell River Energy Limited Partnership to Powell River Energy Trust, a Brookfield Renewable Energy affiliate for $33 million. Powell River Energy Trust currently holds the other 50% stake in the Powell River Energy joint venture originally established in 2001.
“Sale of this energy asset to our joint venture partner enables a smooth operational transition, maintains reliable electricity supply for our Powell River paper mill under a power purchase agreement and ensures we meet the terms of the plan of arrangement in a timely way,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Clarke. All electricity generated by Powell River Energy will be sold to Catalyst under a power purchase agreement which expires in 2016 with possible extension to 2021 at Catalyst’s discretion.
Boise Inc. announced today key investments in the converting operations of its Packaging business. The largest capital improvement is the installation of a new 110” corrugator at the company’s Central Texas Corrugated (CTC) sheet feeder facility in Waco, Texas, which is expected to start up in third quarter 2013.
“We’re excited about this new corrugator and several other investment projects, which are aimed at reducing operating costs, improving quality, and increasing production capabilities,” said Dave Kunz, vice president of Packaging. “Once installed, the new CTC corrugator will replace two existing corrugators, which will improve our operating efficiency and lower our costs. We expect the new corrugator will add 180,000 msf of low-cost production capacity, while simultaneously allowing us to reduce operating costs.”
The company has also completed a recent rebuild of its corrugator at its converting facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. This rebuild has substantially increased the speed and throughput of the machine, reduced waste, and improved product quality. Additionally, the company has installed a new high-speed flexo machine at its converting facility in Wallula, Washington. This new machine replaces two older converting machines and improves our efficiency through reduced set up time, along with lower operating costs.
Brent crude futures traded near a three-day high after United Nations nuclear officials failed to reach a deal on inspections with Iran.
The European benchmark advanced as much as 0.4 percent. UN inspectors didn’t secure an agreement that would allow investigators access to alleged atomic facilities and couldn’t settle on a date for another meeting, chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said today in Vienna. U.S. crude inventories rose less than forecast last week, the Energy Department said yesterday.
“Prices will be buoyed by the back and forth in nuclear talks,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark.
Brent for April settlement climbed as much as 41 cents to $118.29 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange and traded at $117.68 at 10:47 a.m. local time.
Domtar Corporation today announced it is furthering its partnership with Recyclebank® by supporting the Recyclebank Green Schools Program, which awards schools grant money for unique student projects that will make a positive environmental impact on their communities. Domtar will make more students' green projects a reality by contributing additional donation dollars, as well as awarding a year's supply of EarthChoice® Office Paper to the school with the most innovative project. Domtar is committed to providing more sustainable paper options; its EarthChoice Office Paper meets the global forest management standards of the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Recyclebank is the company that rewards people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from locally-based businesses and national brands. Each year, the Recyclebank Green Schools Program awards environmental project grants to schools in Recyclebank communities. Together, these schools, their students and their communities work to encourage residents to donate points that Recyclebank transfers into real dollars for schools—thereby turning a community's green actions into funds for a local school. Since 2007, Recyclebank has granted close to $400,000 to more than 125 schools. This year, Domtar will award an additional $500 to every school that reaches 50 percent of its donation goal.
"At Domtar, we are passionate about supporting educational projects, like the Recyclebank Green Schools Program, as it is an important part of our company's commitment to the sustainable development of our communities," said Paige Goff, Vice-President of Sustainable Business and Brand Management at Domtar. "By partnering with Recyclebank, we are able to guide more students and consumers to make sustainable choices, which ultimately help to reduce their overall environmental impact."
Cabela's Incorporated today reported strong financial results for fourth quarter fiscal 2012.
For the quarter, adjusted for certain items, total revenue increased 15.2% to $1.133 billion; Retail store revenue increased 26.3% to $663.6 million; Direct revenue increased 1.7% to $385.5 million; and Financial Services revenue increased 7.2% to $83.2 million. For the quarter, comparable store sales increased 12.0%. During the quarter, the Company recognized a $12.5 million revenue reduction in its Financial Services business related to the previously disclosed Visa antitrust settlement. On a reported basis, total revenue increased 13.9% and Financial Services revenue decreased 8.9%. A detailed reconciliation and explanation regarding the Visa antitrust settlement is provided later in this release.
For the quarter, net income increased 19.7% to $89.8 million compared to $75.0 million in the year ago quarter, and earnings per diluted share were $1.25 compared to $1.06 in the year ago quarter, each adjusted for certain items. The Company reported GAAP net income of $68.0 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.95 as compared to GAAP net income of $69.8 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.99 in the year ago quarter. Fourth quarter 2012 GAAP results include impairment charges of $20.3 million primarily related to land held for sale and a $12.5 million revenue reduction related to the Visa antitrust settlement. Fourth quarter 2011 GAAP results include impairment charges of $7.8 million mostly related to the value of economic development bonds. See the supporting schedules to this earnings release labeled "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for a reconciliation of the GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures.
For fiscal 2012, net income increased 29.5% to $195.3 million compared to $150.8 million last year, and earnings per diluted share were $2.72 compared to $2.12 a year ago, each excluding certain items. The Company reported GAAP net income of $173.5 million and earnings per diluted share of $2.42 as compared to GAAP net income of $142.6 million and earnings per diluted share of $2.00 a year ago. Fiscal 2012 GAAP results include impairment charges of $20.3 million primarily related to land held for sale and a $12.5 million revenue reduction related to the Visa antitrust settlement. Fiscal year 2011 results include impairment and restructuring charges of $12.2 million. See the supporting schedules to this earnings release labeled "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for a reconciliation of the GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures.
Sappi is to increase prices for the second time in three months with a five to seven per cent increase to be implemented across its coated fine paper grades from April.
The paper manufacturer announced that it was to implement similar price hikes across its graphic papers range in January, which came into effect this month.
However, it claimed a fall in its coated paper prices in the final months of 2012 and continuing rises in input costs have forced the company to propose a further increase to be in place as of 1 April to counteract the current "unsustainably low" prices.
This impacts all the products in the graphic papers range except the uncoated Tauro sheets and reels.
Sappi said that the first price increase of 2013 had "by no means reached accepted levels" of profitability in the face of rising transport, pulp and energy costs, which had "entirely outstripped" the price changes and cost reductions the company had put in place.
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and full-year 2012.
Fourth Quarter Highlights
•Fourth quarter 2012 GAAP earnings per diluted share were $.42, compared with $.29 in 2011.
•Fourth quarter 2012 net sales were a record $1.18 billion, up 4 percent, compared with $1.13 billion in 2011.
•Full-year 2012 GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.91, compared with $2.13 in 2011.
•Net sales reached a record $4.79 billion, up 6 percent, compared with $4.50 billion in 2011.
Commenting on the Company's fourth quarter results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harris E. DeLoach Jr. said, "Base earnings increased 21 percent over last year's fourth quarter while gross profit improved 10 percent and base earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) gained 7 percent. A lower effective tax rate drove a significant part of the base earnings improvement. The improvement in base EBIT stemmed from much stronger productivity, the addition of Tegrant and modest volume gains. These favorable factors were partially offset by a slightly negative price/cost relationship and higher maintenance, labor, pension, interest and other expenses.
"Operating profits from our Paper and Industrial Converted Products segment rose 23 percent in the fourth quarter as the segment generated its strongest fourth quarter earnings performance since 2007. The segment's improvement was due to higher volume and strong productivity gains. Tons produced in the Company's North America paperboard mills increased 7 percent with less downtime that aided productivity and helped offset a negative price/cost relationship stemming from rising recovered paper prices.
"Our Protective Solutions segment reported an 82 percent year-over-year improvement in operating profits during the fourth quarter driven largely by last year's addition of Tegrant.
The end of 2012 didn’t bring any relief for the embattled newspaper industry on the advertising front, judging by early earnings announcements. This week A.H. Belo, the publisher of theDallas Morning News, revealed that total revenues decreased 6% from around $125 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $117 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The decrease was due to declining ad revenues, which fell 10%, including a 19% drop in display revenue, to $23.4 million, a 3% drop in preprint revenue and a 13% drop in classifieds revenue, to $13 million.
A modest increase in digital revenue, up 4% to $9 million, wasn’t enough to offset losses on the print side. Circulation revenue in the fourth quarter was $34 million, down 4% from around $35 million in the same period in 2011.
For the full year, A.H. Belo’s total revenues dropped 5% from around $463 million in 2011 to $440 million in 2012. Full-year display revenue was down 15% to $84.6 million, while preprint dipped 3% to $84.8 million, and classifieds fell 11% to $54.1 million. Digital revenue was down 1% to $34.7 million. For the full year, circulation revenue was $136.5 million, down 2% from around $139.3 million in 2011.
Gannett Co. fared significantly better in 2012, thanks, in large part, to the introduction of online paywalls at its community newspapers. Gannett’s total circulation revenues jumped 16.8% from $268 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $313 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, pushing publishing division revenues up 3.7% from $1.01 billion to $1.04 billion over the same period.
However, Gannett advertising revenues slipped 2% from $671 million to $658 million.
West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest level in more than a week. U.S. crude stockpiles declined for the first time this year, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Futures were little changed in New York after climbing 0.5 percent yesterday. Crude inventories fell 2.3 million barrels last week, the first drop in six weeks, data from the industry- funded API showed yesterday. An Energy Department report today may show supplies rose, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The International Energy Agency trimmed forecasts for global oil demand because of constrained economic expansion.
“Declining inventory levels in the U.S.” are supporting prices, said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “If the U.S. Energy Department reports a similar fall in stocks, oil prices are likely to climb further.”
Crude for March delivery was at $97.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 11 cents, at 10:36 a.m. London time. The contract rose 48 cents to $97.51 yesterday, the highest close since Feb 1.
West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest level in more than a week after the biggest gain since early January. OPEC raised forecasts for the amount of crude it will need to supply this year.
Futures were little changed, paring an earlier loss as the dollar weakened against the euro after the world’s major industrial nations pledged to avoid devaluing their exchange rates. U.S. crude inventories probably rose 2.35 million barrels last week, according to the survey before an Energy Department report tomorrow. North Sea Brent crude’s premium to WTI widened.
“Prices would need much more momentum from the economic growth side to go higher,” said Gerrit Zambo, an oil trader at Bayerische Landesbank in Munich, who predicts Brent will trade from $115 to $120 a barrel this month.
WTI for March delivery was 27 cents higher at $97.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 11:46 a.m. London time.
Wausau Paper today reported fourth-quarter and full-year results for 2012.
2012 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
• Achieved the safest year in the Company’s history.
• Full-year 2012 adjusted net earnings were $10.8 million versus $16.1 million a year ago.
• Fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted net loss was $1.5 million compared to net earnings of $2.5 million for the prior year period.
• On January 11, 2013, announced intent to strategically reposition the Company to focus on the Tissue business and explore alternatives for Paper segment.
•Tissue Segment. • Grew Tissue case volume 3.3 percent, with 4.0 percent growth in the fourth quarter.
• Invested $220 million in new tissue machine in Kentucky; started production in December; business poised to deliver significant returns in 2013.
•Paper Segment. • Realized technical specialty full-year shipment growth of 4.5 percent in a deteriorating demand environment.
• Experienced margin pressure in Paper segment due to operational challenges at Brainerd, Minnesota.
• Exited the Print & Color business, including sale of premium brands and closure and sale of the Brokaw, Wisconsin, manufacturing site, delivering $52 million in cash versus the targeted $20 million.
• Managed year-end debt to $196 million reflecting strong cash generation and balance sheet management.
The McGraw-Hill Companies today reported fourth quarter and full-year 2012 results. Because of the pending sale of McGraw-Hill Education, this business has been reclassified as a discontinued operation and its results are excluded from continuing operations. In addition, in anticipation of the formation of McGraw Hill Financial and the first full year of operation of the S&P Dow Jones Indices joint venture, the Company is reporting S&P Capital IQ and S&P Dow Jones Indices as distinct business segments beginning this quarter.
McGraw Hill Financial: The Company reported fourth quarter 2012 revenue of $1,226 million, an increase of 22% compared to the same period last year. Net income and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $190 million and $0.67, respectively. For the full year, revenue increased 13% to $4,450 million and net income and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $676 million and $2.37, respectively.
Excluding the impact of one-time costs related to the Growth and Value Plan, and a gain from modifications to the vacation policy, adjusted net income from continuing operations increased 52% to $205 million, and adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 56% to $0.72. For the full year, adjusted net income from continuing operations increased 24% to $783 million and adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 32% to $2.75.
The North American PEFC member Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) announced last week that it will deliver up to $400,000 in 2013 to support research into responsible forestry practices through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program.
Since 2010, SFI has awarded 33 grants totaling more than $1.32 million to support projects that promote sustainable forestry practices and engage communities. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $4.8 million.
"The decisions we make today regarding research investments and partnerships will better inform our future understanding of how working forests can continue to provide jobs, forest products and a variety of conservation services and benefits," said Kathy Abusow, President & CEO of SFI Inc.
Up to $250,000 is to be awarded to new grants in 2013, which will bring SFI's total investment in conservation and community grants in 2013 to $400,000. This amount includes ongoing multi-year research grant commitments for projects awarded to groups like Ducks Unlimited Canada and the World Resources Institute. Ducks Unlimited Canada's grant supports developing and testing best management practices for forestry roads on SFI program participant managed lands that serve to protect wetland ecosystems in the Western Boreal Forest. Results to date include the construction of five innovative wetland crossing sites that are monitored for project effectiveness. A sixth wetland crossing is planned for 2013.
The Authors Guild is asking a federal appellate court to allow longstanding litigation about Google's book project to proceed as a class-action.
The authors group argues that U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin correctly rejected Google's contention that copyright infringement requires case-by-case evaluation. "It is duplicitous for Google to implement a single, mass digitization policy affecting the rights of so many authors while at the same time argue that its policy must be analyzed in countless separate lawsuits," the Authors Guild says in a brief filed late last week with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last year, Circuit Court Judge Chin in New York certified the Authors Guild's lawsuit as a class-action. Chin ruled that it wouldn't be fair to require writers to sue Google individually.
Google is appealing that decision to the 2nd Circuit, which stayed the litigation when it considers the issue. Google argues that a class-action isn't appropriate because the Authors Guild and its members have conflicting interests. Google says that many writers approve of its decision to scan millions of books from public libraries and make them searchable.
The company says a survey it commissioned of 800 authors shows that most like the digitization project. Most survey respondents -- 58% -- said they approved of Google scanning their books, while 19% say they have or would benefit from Google's scans.
But the Authors Guild calls that survey "invalid and misleading" in its new court papers.
The Newspaper Association of America is showing its legal teeth with a lawsuit filed against the Postal Regulatory Commission on behalf of its members, disputing the legality of a deal struck between the U.S. Postal Service and Valassis Direct Mail.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, contends that the PRC erred in concluding that the USPS deal did not constitute an “unreasonable harm to the marketplace.”
The NAA claims that the negotiated service agreement between USPS and Valassis, which charges Valassis a lower “special contract rate” for direct mailings, gives the latter an unfair advantage over competitors, including newspaper publishers, in fields like retail advertising.
Specifically, the NAA believes it creates a price inventive for advertising clients to stop paying for advertising inserts in newspapers and deliver them via direct mail instead.
FiberMark, a manufacturer of specialty cellulose and synthetic fiber-based printing media, reached an agreement with ND Graphics naming them as the Exclusive FiberMark Value-Added Master Distributor of Wide-Format Inkjet Products in Canada.
“We’ve recognized for a long time that we need to offer a greener alternative to traditional wide format print media. With FiberMark, we have finally found a manufacturer to partner with that offers indoor and outdoor capable products that are both competitively priced and better for the environment,” said Mark West, President, ND Graphics, Inc.
"With nine stocking locations, wide-format inkjet knowledgeable sales staff, technical support, the latest relevant printing news, and educational marketing, ND Graphics adds a tremendous amount of value for their customers," said David Sailer, Business Development Manager - Print Media, FiberMark. "The digital print media team at FiberMark is excited and ready to support ND Graphics in their efforts."
Berry Plastics Group, Inc., a leading global manufacturer and marketer of value-added plastic packaging and engineered materials, today introduced 3546A single-coated woven tape. 3546A joins Berry's extensive offering of woven, flexible film, and transfer adhesives used in the manufacture of pulse oximeters and other medical devices.
?Stretchable, breathable woven adhesive tape
?Designed for high speed converting
?Strong adhesive, bonds without lifting or flagging
Featuring a 25 mil stretchable woven fabric backing and white rubber-based medical-grade adhesive, 3546A is designed with both OEM/Converters and patients in mind.
OfficeMax® Incorporated, a leader in office and facility supplies, technology and services, today announced that it will receive approximately $129 million in cash proceeds on February 12, 2013 related to its October 2004 investment in Boise Cascade Holdings, L.L.C. ("BCH"). Since 2004, OfficeMax has held two classes of securities in BCH, non-voting equity securities ("Series A Units") and voting equity securities ("Series B Units").
BCH will redeem all of the Series A Units held by OfficeMax for $112 million, equal to the original investment amount of $66 million plus $46 million of total accrued dividends. As previously disclosed, OfficeMax had been recording income earned from the 8% annual dividend yield on the Series A Units as a reduction of operating, selling and general and administrative expenses in its Corporate & Other segment. This dividend income will cease upon completion of the redemption of the Series A Units on February 12, 2013.
OfficeMax also continues to hold a 20.4% ownership interest in the Series B Units of BCH, which do not accrue any dividend. OfficeMax has accounted for the Series B Units under the cost method as a $109 million investment on its consolidated balance sheet since October 2004. BCH has declared a distribution of approximately $85 million payable on February 12, 2013 to the holders of its Series B Units, of which OfficeMax's share of proceeds is approximately $17 million. This distribution on the Series B Units will be recognized as income by OfficeMax and will not reduce the $109 million investment amount.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. reported a net loss of $2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, or $0.02 per share, on sales of $4.5 billion. This compares with net income of $41 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, on sales of $4.8 billion in the year ended December 31, 2011. Net loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $36 million, or $0.38 per share, on sales of $1.1 billion, compared with a net loss of $6 million, or $0.06 per share, on sales of $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Excluding $81 million of special items, net income for the full year was $79 million, or $0.81 per diluted share. Excluding special items of $70 million, net income in the fourth quarter was $34 million, or $0.35 per diluted share. For the full year 2011, net income excluding special items was $166 million, or $1.71 per diluted share, and $45 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter 2011. All special items and non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjustments for special items and adjusted EBITDA, are described and reconciled below.
"We significantly improved the Company's competitiveness by optimizing our asset base, reducing costs wherever possible and strengthening our financial position this year," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. "We added pulp assets, committed to growth projects in lumber, invested in power cogeneration plants and further optimized our paper assets, steps that will position us well for the future. At the same time, we returned $67 million to our shareholders in share buybacks, reduced balance sheet working capital by a further $81 million from the end of 2011 and redeemed an additional $85 million of debt."
The Company recorded an operating loss of $30 million in 2012, compared to operating income of $198 million in 2011. This reflects a $134 million increase in closure costs, impairment and other related charges, and $173 million of lower volume, in both cases because of additional market downtime and the Company's ongoing efforts to focus production in its most cost-effective mills and drive better efficiency by restructuring and reducing labor costs. As a result, and in addition to lower energy, recovered paper and fiber costs, manufacturing costs improved by $55 million, excluding the effects of lower volume. The effect of pricing changes in the year was neutral as the increase in lumber pricing offset declines in pulp, while gains in specialty paper offset declines in newsprint and coated papers.
Grainger today reported sales results for the month of January 2013. Daily sales increased 8 percent versus January 2012, and included 3 percentage points from volume, 3 percentage points from price, 1 percentage point from sales of seasonal products and 1 percentage point from acquisitions. The month of January 2013 had 22 selling days versus 21 selling days in January 2012. The 2013 first quarter will have 63 selling days, one less than the 64 selling days in the 2012 first quarter.
The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 24.75 cents a gallon in the past two weeks to $3.5918 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended Feb. 8 and is based on information obtained from about 2,500 stations by the Camarillo, California-based company. The average is up 8.17 cents from a year earlier. It was the biggest jump since the two weeks ended March 4, 2011.
“Now that wholesale price hikes have accelerated, retailers will not be able to delay much further before passing through these hikes to consumers,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “That’s enough reason for us to expect a few more pennies at the pump even if crude oil prices do not rise.”
West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 16 cents to $95.72 a barrel in the two weeks to Feb. 8.
Crude inventories rose 2.62 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 1 to 371.7 million, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Supplies at Cushing, the delivery point for the Nymex futures contract, dropped 0.6 percent to 51.4 million barrels. Refineries ran at 84.2 percent of capacity.
The U.S. Postal Service ended the first three months of its 2013 fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2012) with a net loss of $1.3 billion. Continued growth in Shipping and Package revenue (+4.7%) and increased efficiency helped mitigate but could not fully offset the financial effects of continued First-Class Mail volume declines and costs that are beyond Postal Service management control. As a result, the Postal Service recently announced it would move forward with accelerated cost-cutting actions necessary to help maintain liquidity because Congress has not passed comprehensive postal reform legislation.
The first quarter is traditionally the Postal Service’s strongest financial quarter, mainly due to the holiday mailing and shipping season. The Quarter One results were also aided by growth in Standard (advertising) Mail during the months leading up to the election. The holiday season resulted in a strong increase in competitive package volume as customers took advantage of Postal Service Priority Mail flat rate pricing and increasingly turned to the Postal Service for last-mile delivery.
“The encouraging results from our holiday mailing season cannot sustain us as we move deeper into the current fiscal year and face continuing financial challenges,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. “By moving forward with the accelerated cost-cutting actions directed by our Board of Governors, we will continue to become more efficient and come closer to achieving long-term financial stability. We urgently need Congress to do its part and pass legislation that allows us to better manage our costs and gives us the commercial flexibility needed to operate more like a business does. This will help ensure the future success of the Postal Service and the mailing industry it supports.”
One of the accelerated actions, announced earlier this week, is the transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, 2013. Packages will be delivered Monday through Saturday and mail will be delivered Monday through Friday, resulting in an annual cost savings of approximately $2 billion once the new delivery plan is fully implemented.
In a proposed settlement disclosed Friday night, Macmillan has agreed to pay up to $20 million to settle a consumer class action case, led by Seattle-based firm Hagens Berman, over alleged e-book price-fixing.
The settlement must still be approved by the court, but the announcement suggests that the two-year-old legal drama over e-book pricing may finally be drawing down for the accused publishers: all five have now settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, and as PW reported, on Friday morning Judge Denise Cote gave final approval to a $70-plus million state settlement after a 15-minute hearing. The consumer class action is the third, and final, hurdle. Apple, however, remains on track for a June trial.
According to a spokesperson for Hagens Berman, the class action case continues against Penguin and Apple. Although no specific consumer class action settlement was announced with Hachette, HarperCollins, and S&S, those firms' initial settlement with states’ attorneys to reimburse consumers for allegedly inflated e-book prices likely mooted the class action case.
In a statement, Steve Berman, managing partner ofHagens Berman and lead counsel for the proposed class of consumers, suggested he worked "alongside" 33 states attorneys general and the DoJ to “present a unified front in dealing with Macmillan.”
The deal with Macmillan adds an additional $20 million to the pot of money that will be used to reimburse e-book purchasers allegedly wronged by price-fixing. In the state settlement, Hachette has agreed to pay $31,711,425; HarperCollins, $19,575,246; and Simon & Schuster, $17,752,480. Other fees and costs take the initial value of the state settlement over $70 million.
The National Retail Federation expressed disappointment on Friday over the failure of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association to reach a contract agreement.
An eight-day strike in November and December 2012 shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before the parties agreed on a tentative new contract with the help of a federal mediator. But union members on Wednesday voted down the contract.
“We are extremely disappointed by this vote and strongly urge the parties to work through their differences without any kind of disruption. Ratification of a contract is needed to give retailers and other industries that rely on these ports the predictability they need to make long-term plans and get back to growing their businesses and creating jobs. The shutdown during the holiday shopping season was more than just a fight between labor and management – it threatened to impact consumers’ shopping plans at the most crucial time of the year. We can’t afford to see another shutdown. As labor and management work to resolve this situation, uninterrupted operation of the ports should be their top priority. Too many jobs across the country depend on these ports to let any interference with operations be considered an acceptable way of doing business,” said NRF VP supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold in a prepared statement.
Newspapers and magazines may find the tablet a saving grace with older readers.
They have an easier time reading text on tablet computers than print on paper, according to a new study by German researchers -- which may speed adoption by older consumers who enjoy daily news reads, provided that consumer electronics marketers can alter habits.
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany studied the amount of cognitive effort required to read text displayed on different media, including paper, e-readers and tablet computers. After dividing participants into two groups, one consisting of 36 subjects ages 21-34, the other of 21 subjects ages 60+, the researchers tracked eye movements and brain activity with electrodes to determine how much neural power was required to read text presented in the various formats.
The older readers displayed a lower level of brain activity when reading text on an iPad tablet, the study found, and finished each page of text three to four seconds faster, on average. The researchers attributed this result to the tablet computers’ bright, backlit screens, which enhance contrast and make it easier to distinguish text.
Younger readers showed no appreciable differences in the amount of time or mental effort required to read a page of text, regardless of format.