One of New York City’s iconic tabloid newspapers is on the market. This week, Mort Zuckerman revealed that he is considering selling the New York Daily News in a memo to employees, first obtained and published by BuzzFeed. In his note to NYDN employees, Zuckerman wrote that he had not been considering a sale until an interested party approached his management team with an offer several weeks ago, at which point they retained the services of financial advisory firm Lazard to help evaluate the offer and talk to other potential buyers and investors.
Norske Skog's gross operating earnings (EBITDA) in the fourth quarter of 2014 were NOK 190 million, down from 208 million in the third quarter. Operationally, the EBITDA was flat with a weak magazine paper market in Europe offset by completion of the Boyer ramp-up. The depreciation of NOK occurred late in the quarter and had limited impact on the quarterly result. Gross operating earnings for the full year 2014 were NOK 801 million, a reduction of NOK 61 million compared to 2013, mainly reflecting a prolonged ramp-up of the new magazine paper machine at Boyer in Australia and lower sales volumes due to loss of capacity at Singburi, Pisa and Walsum. The net loss of NOK 1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 was significantly impacted by a negative foreign exchange effect on foreign denominated long-term debt and negative changes (with no cash impact) in the value of energy contracts.
Stein Mart (Nasdaq:SMRT) announces the opening of eleven new stores this year as part of the company's accelerated store growth that began in 2014. This news follows the company's recent release of its fiscal 2014 total sales growth of 4.3 percent and fourth quarter 2014 total sales growth of 7.3 percent. The new stores include the company's March opening of the first ever San Francisco Bay area location in Cupertino and ten additional stores opening in the fall. This is an increase from the company's earlier estimate of ten new stores for 2015 announced last November. In 2014, Stein Mart opened nine new stores.
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (“AXA Real Estate”), the leading real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe (1) has completed the acquisition of three forest estates in Finland, covering 3,700 hectares in total, for a consideration of 11,2 million EUR with UPM, one of the leading forest industry companies in Europe and a major forest owner in Finland. AXA Real Estate has undertaken the acquisition on behalf of AXA Insurance Company.
Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies and a leader in innovative packaging solutions, announced today that its EcoTect® premium grade of uncoated recycled board (URB), specifically manufactured for superior printability, has become the first URB to be certified by the Rochester Institute of Technology to Hewlett-Packard (HP) Indigo print platform specifications. This paper innovation is revolutionary for the printing industry where customized, short runs of folding carton products and packaging – an option that was not available before now – can be created with Sonoco EcoTect on the HP Indigo 5500, 7x00, and 10000 digital press platforms.
For the thirteen weeks ended January 31, 2015 ("the fourth quarter"), the Company reported adjusted net income of $7.5 million compared to adjusted net income of $5.9 million for the thirteen weeks ended February 1, 2014, and fourth quarter 2014 adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.05 compared to adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.04 in last year's fourth quarter. The fourth quarter adjusted results exclude EPS charges of $0.26 in 2014 and $0.04 in 2013, primarily related to Boston Proper non-cash goodwill and trade name impairment, as well as cost reduction and restructuring initiatives (the "Charges"), as presented in the accompanying GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation. Including the impact of the Charges, the Company reported a fourth quarter 2014 net loss of $31.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share compared to a fourth quarter 2013 net loss of $0.3 million, or $0.00 per diluted share. For the fifty-two weeks ended January 31, 2015 ("fiscal 2014"), the Company reported adjusted net income of $104.0 million compared to adjusted net income of $137.0 million for the fifty-two weeks ended February 1, 2014 (fiscal 2013), and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.68 compared to adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.85 in fiscal 2013. The adjusted results exclude EPS charges of $0.26 in 2014 and $0.44 in 2013, as presented in the accompanying GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation. Including the impact of the Charges, the Company reported fiscal 2014 net income of $64.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share compared to fiscal 2013 net income of $65.9 million, or $0.41 per diluted share.
Fourth quarter 2014 sales increased 4.1 percent to $21.8 billion from $20.9 billion last year, reflecting a 3.8 percent increase in comparable sales combined with sales from new stores. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1,603 million in fourth quarter 2014, an increase of 13.4 percent from $1,413 million in 2013. Full-year 2014 sales increased 1.9 percent to $72.6 billion from $71.3 billion last year, reflecting a 1.3 percent increase in comparable sales combined with sales from new stores. Full-year EBIT was $4,761 million in 2014, a decrease of 4.0 percent from $4,959 million last year.
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS). Kohl’s Corporation today reported results for the quarter and year ended January 31, 2015. Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Our fourth quarter results showed significant improvement as many of our Greatness Agenda initiatives took hold. Our 3.7% increase in comparable sales was driven by both transactions per store - a key area of focus - and average transaction value. The sales strength was broad as all lines of business and all geographic regions reported higher sales. Our teams managed both expenses and inventories well, allowing us to exceed our previous earnings guidance."
Total European shipments of Graphic Papers was down 3.3% vs. December 2013 and is down 4.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of Newsprint was down 5.9% vs. December 2013 and is down 7.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of SC-Magazine was down 2.9% vs. December 2013 and is down 5.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of Coated Mechanical Reels was down 10.0% vs. December 2013 and is down 6.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of Uncoated Mechanical (Improved & Others) was UP 1.6% vs. December 2013 and is down 4.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of Coated Woodfree was down 2.2% vs. December 2013 and is down 2.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of Uncoated Woodfree was UP 4.2% vs. December 2013 and is UP 1.9% year-to-date.
Earnings per share for the year ended Jan. 31, 2015, increased 15% to $3.50 from $3.05 for the year ended Feb. 1, 2014. Operating income increased 12% to $1.953 billion in 2014 from $1.743 billion in 2013. Net income in 2014 increased 15% to $1.042 billion from $903.0 million in 2013. Net sales were $11.454 billion for the year ended Jan. 31, 2015, an increase of 6% compared to $10.773 billion for the year ended Feb. 1, 2014. Comparable store sales for the year ended Jan. 31, 2015, increased 4%.