Almost everyone in our country is addicted to electronics, and riddled with denial. When I talk to people about it, they get defensive. They say it's not addiction, it's just something they enjoy. I love to play ping-pong, I love to practice the drums, I love to tap dance. But I have never, even once, tried to figure out how to do any one of those things, while driving, in such a way that the cops couldn't see. Because I am not addicted to those activities, I just enjoy them, and there's a huge difference. Screen devices wreak havoc with the brain's frontal lobe. Diagnosis of ADHD in our children has taken a steep rise since the proliferation of screen devices. Yet, even when presented with that information, parents often won't hear of protecting their kids from the harmful effects of screen devices. "Kids love them!" they say. Yes, they do, and kids would love heroin if we gave it to them. I'm told that after the initial vomiting stage it can be a hoot!
Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (NASDAQ: HMHC) today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.
First Quarter 2015 Highlights:
*Billings increased approximately 3% to $148 million in the first quarter compared to $144 million in the first quarter of 2014 primarily due to higher sales from the assessment business.
*Net sales were $163 million, up approximately 6%, compared with $154 million in the first quarter of 2014, driven by higher Education and Trade Publishing sales and the recognition of previously deferred revenue.
*Adjusted EBITDA improved, with a loss of $52 million compared to a loss of $53 million in the first quarter of 2014. Adjusted cash EBITDA, which accounts for the change in deferred revenue, decreased to a loss of $67 million compared to a loss of $63 million in the first quarter of 2014.
*Net loss increased to $160 million from $146 million in the first quarter of 2014.
*HMH captured 51% market share among adoption school districts that announced content provider selections.
Linda K. Zecher, HMH’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We began 2015 on solid footing as we executed against our growth strategy. We remain the clear leader within K-12 adoption school districts thus far in 2015 and have continued to build momentum in key growth areas. As recently announced, we believe our planned acquisition of the EdTech business of Scholastic will enhance our ability to drive value for our shareholders by strengthening our core business and accelerating growth in adjacent markets. This transaction, together with the increase of our share repurchase program to $500 million, reflects HMH’s continued focus on pursuing opportunities that are consistent with our capital allocation strategy.”
Eric Shuman, Chief Financial Officer of HMH, stated, “During the first quarter we saw encouraging demand for our products across both our Education and Trade Publishing segments, and we believe that the recognition of previously deferred revenue highlights the long-term financial benefits of our digital growth. We expect that our operations will continue to provide us with the cash and flexibility to execute our strategy. Further, we believe that the debt markets are favorable and we are pleased with the early indication of demand we have experienced for the new term loan. Therefore we are planning to increase the new term loan to $800 million.”