In a move to help students better manage the cost of their education, Pearson today announced it is dropping the prices of its e-book rentals and piloting a new program for print textbook rentals. The company already provides e-book rental options on more than 2,000 titles, but beginning later this month students will see savings of up to 50 percent on many of those materials. Students will be able to rent e-books through the same, trusted online retailers they’ve always used, just at a lower cost. In addition, fifty of the most popular print textbook titles will be available for Fall 2017 classes through the new print rental program. The print textbooks will also be available through many of the same retailers that currently rent Pearson titles. “Students have been clear in telling us they want more choices when selecting course materials,” said Tim Bozik, Pearson’s President of Global Product. “We understand that many students are stretched financially and that college is a significant investment for them. Pearson has long been developing new ways to make college more affordable and more accessible.” click Read More below for additional detail
Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) today reported first quarter 2018 earnings per diluted share of $0.45, or $0.48 excluding impairment and other costs. This compares to $0.26 per share in the first quarter of 2017 for both reported and adjusted diluted earnings per share. Also excluding asset sale gains, earnings per diluted share attributable to Macy’s, Inc. were $0.42 in the first quarter of 2018. This compares to $0.12 per share in the first quarter of 2017.
The company also reported comparable sales on an owned basis that were up 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. On an owned plus licensed basis, comparable sales were up 4.2 percent for the first quarter of 2018.
“Macy’s, Inc.’s results for the first quarter of 2018 reflect continuing momentum in the business. We exceeded our expectations and saw strong performance across all three brands–Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury–as well as across all geographic regions and families of business. We are maintaining a healthy inventory position, which helped us deliver improved gross margin,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “The winning formula for Macy’s, Inc. is a healthy brick & mortar business, robust e-commerce and a great mobile experience. While we have more work to do, the continuing improvement in our stores is encouraging and we once again achieved double-digit growth in the digital business. Our best customer is responding well to the improvements we’ve made to her experience in our stores, on .com and through the Macy’s app.”
“Our first quarter performance reflects solid execution of our North Star Strategy, including merchandising and marketing activities. We also saw continued healthy consumer spending and significant improvements in international tourism. Taken together, these positive factors give us confidence to raise both our sales and earnings guidance for the fiscal year,” continued Gennette. “Heading into the second quarter, we are intensely focused on laying the foundation for our 2018 strategic initiatives to support improved performance in the back half of the year.”
Net sales in the first quarter of 2018 totaled $5.541 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent, compared with sales of $5.350 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Comparable sales on an owned basis were up 3.9 percent in the first quarter and up 4.2 percent on an owned plus licensed basis.
The company estimates that comparable sales in the first quarter of 2018 benefited approximately 250 basis points from the shift of Friends and Family from the second quarter to the first. Excluding this, the company estimates that comparable sales were up 1.7 percent on an owned plus licensed basis.
Operating Income and Net Income
Macy’s, Inc.’s operating income for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $238 million, or 4.3 percent of sales, compared to $219 million, or 4.1 percent of sales, for the first quarter of 2017. Operating income for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $257 million, or 4.6 percent of sales, excluding impairment and other costs of $19 million, which primarily relate to the wind-down of Macy’s China Limited as discussed below. The company anticipates recognizing additional charges of approximately $10 million related to the wind-down over the course of fiscal 2018. There were no impairment and other costs in the first quarter of 2017.
Net income attributable to Macy’s, Inc. shareholders for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $139 million, or 2.5 percent of sales, compared to $78 million, or 1.5 percent of sales, for the first quarter of 2017. Net income for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $149 million, or 2.7 percent of sales, excluding impairment and other costs. This compares to $80 million, or 1.5 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2017, excluding premiums on the early retirement of debt. Also excluding asset sale gains, net income for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $131 million, or 2.4 percent of sales, compared to $38 million, or 0.7 percent of sales, in the first quarter of 2017.
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