*Total revenues from continuing operations grew 2.6 percent, or $14.1 million, to $548.4 million, compared with $534.3 million in the prior year period, primarily driven by the Company's Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets segment. *EBITDA, excluding stock-based compensation, grew 23.3 percent, or $19.8 million, to $104.8 million, compared with $85.0 million in the prior year period. Compared with prior year period Adjusted EBITDA of $100.7 million, EBITDA increased 4.0%, or $4.1 million. *EPS grew 35.3 percent, or $0.24 per diluted share, to $0.92 per diluted share compared with $0.68 per diluted share in the prior year period. Compared with prior year period Adjusted EPS of $0.83 per diluted share, EPS increased 10.8 percent, or $0.09.
HIGHLIGHTS: • Full year 2015 adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations increased to $2.55 per share, up 10.9 percent compared to the prior year, and in line with management’s guidance. These results were achieved despite the currency translation headwinds of approximately $0.16 per share in 2015, as compared to the prior year. • Gross profit margins improved 170 basis points to 21.5 percent of net sales for the full year 2015, compared to 19.8 percent in the prior year. • U.S. Packaging segment operating profit return on sales increased to 14.3 percent for the full year 2015, compared to 13.1 percent in the prior year. • Global Packaging segment adjusted operating profit return on sales increased to 8.8 percent for the full year 2015, compared to 7.6 percent in the prior year.
For the quarter ended December 31, 2015, the Company reported record revenue of $256.5 million, up 22% compared to fourth quarter 2014 revenue of $211.1 million. For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company reported revenue of $882.5 million, up 12% year-over-year compared to $790.4 million for the same period in 2014.
Total loans grew $2.4 billion, or 3.5%, from the prior year to $72.4 billion. Credit card loans grew $1.8 billion, or 3.1%, to $57.9 billion and Discover card sales volume increased 2.6% from the prior year or approximately 5% excluding gas purchases. Total net charge-off rate excluding PCI loans decreased 7 basis points from the prior year to 2.11% and the total delinquency rate excluding PCI loans over 30 days past due increased 1 basis point from the prior year to 1.67%. Reserve build was $126 million in the quarter, up $24 million from the prior year. Payment Services transaction dollar volume for the segment was $45.9 billion, down 10% from the prior year.
Recently, Quad/Graphics in Saratoga Springs, New York, took advantage of National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Incentive program and installed equipment that will not only boost production at the facility but it will also save more than 4.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity. That’s the equivalent savings of taking approximately 380 homes off the electric grid for an entire year. In dollars and cents, this upgrade will save Quad/Graphics more than $380,000 per year in energy costs while helping it increase production to stay competitive. National Grid provided $1.1 million to Quad/Graphics to install a more efficient printing press that replaced two older presses and has increased production by more than 60 percent.
Meredith Corporation today reported fiscal 2016 second quarter results: • Earnings per share were $0.72, compared to $0.87 in the prior-year period. • As expected in an off-election year, Meredith recorded $29 million, or $0.39 per share, less of high-margin, incremental political advertising revenues in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 than in the prior-year period.
Meredith Corporation and Media General, Inc. said today they have agreed to terminate immediately the binding merger agreement they entered into on September 8, 2015. In exchange for terminating the merger agreement, Meredith will receive: • $60 million in cash payable immediately. • An opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of certain broadcast and digital assets currently owned by Media General.
Verso Corporation today announced that it has finalized a restructuring support agreement (RSA) with creditors holding at least a majority in principal amount of substantially all tranches of funded debt of Verso and its subsidiaries in connection with Verso's filing for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware yesterday. Verso also announced that it has finalized, subject to approval by the bankruptcy court, a debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing package totaling up to $600 million which will provide a clear path to a restructuring that will benefit Verso's stakeholders. The RSA commits Verso and the signing creditors to pursue a consensual restructuring. Verso and the signing creditors have agreed to support and vote for a plan of reorganization as contemplated by the RSA and as otherwise reasonably satisfactory. Under the contemplated plan of reorganization, Verso will eliminate approximately $2.4 billion in pre-bankruptcy debt. In return, the holders of Verso's funded debt will receive substantially all of the equity in the reorganized Verso. The DIP financing package will provide Verso with significant operational flexibility to successfully reorganize and sufficient liquidity to support its ongoing operations for the foreseeable future during the Chapter 11 process.
Transcontinental Inc. announced today that it is transferring its marketing product printing activities from Transcontinental Québec to other plants in its network, principally to Transcontinental Interglobe in Beauce, Quebec. This decision will result in the closure of the Transcontinental Québec plant located at 2850 Rue Jean-Perrin, in Quebec City, by April 30, 2016. "Conditions in the print market are changing and we must continuously adapt," said Jacques Grégoire, President of TC Transcontinental Printing. "In this context, we need to review our equipment utilization to better optimize our platform. We regret having to make this decision which affects our employees and would like to thank them for their dedication to our organization." Unfortunately, this plant closure will result in about 140 layoffs.
Stakeholders globally are invited to nominate candidates to participate in the revision of some of the core standards of PEFC, the world's largest forest certification system. The standards include PEFC's global requirements for sustainable forest management, forest certification procedures, standard setting procedures at national level, and the PEFC assessment and endorsement process of national/regional forest certification systems. The nomination deadline is 22 February 2016. "We review our standards every five years to ensure that they incorporate latest knowledge, best practices, and evolving stakeholder expectations," explained Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. "This process is of fundamental importance as these documents define not only the environmental, social and economic requirements for sustainable forest management, but also how implementation in the forest is certified."