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HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY REPORTS 1992 RESULTS

 BOSTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Houghton Mifflin Company (NYSE: HTN) today reported an increase in 1992 net income, before special charges for accounting changes and disposal of publishing assets, even though net sales were below the previous year's record sales results, reflecting 1992's reduced sales opportunities in the elementary school textbook market. Net sales were $454.7 million for the full year ended Dec. 31, 1992, a 2.6 percent decline from 1991's $466.8 million. Net income in 1992 was $26.8 million, or $1.91 per share, before the previously announced special charges and accounting changes totaling $22.4 million, or $1.60 per share. Net income for 1992 after these special charges was $4.4 million, or 31 cents per share. Net income of $25.1 million, or $1.75 per share, was reported for the previous year.
 The $22.4 million aggregate after-tax charge for 1992, which was recorded in the fourth quarter, related to the previously announced sales of publishing operations and adoption of accounting standards for post-retirement healthcare benefits and income taxes. the publishing operations sold included the Gollancz units, based in England, and certain Canadian school publishing programs. The after-tax losses for publishing operations sold that were included in the company's net income amounted to $2.9 million, or 20 cents per share, and $5.3 million, or 37 cents per share, in 1992 and 1991, respectively.
 Net sales for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 1992, were $78.2 million, which were flat with the previous year's $78.4 million. General publishing segment sales were up 1 percent in the quarter with both the Trade & Reference and Software Divisions reporting higher sales. However, sales from the continuing businesses in the general publishing segment rose 10 percent in the quarter when Gollancz's net sales are excluded. Educational publishing segment sales, which represent the major portion of the company's business, declined 1 percent, with higher sales by The Riverside Publishing Company and College Division offset by lower School Division sales.
 While Houghton Mifflin historically has reported a loss for the fourth quarter because of the seasonal nature of its educational publishing businesses, the company's performance improved in 1992. The fourth-quarter seasonal net loss was $4.8 million, or 35 cents per share, before special charges and accounting changes of $22.4 million, or $1.63 per share. This compared favorably with 1991's fourth-quarter loss of $5.6 million, or 39 cents per share, which was 14.3 percent greater than 1992.
 Nader F. Darehshori, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Sales results from our two business segments were mixed in 1992 with educational publishing segment sales declining 5 percent from the previous year, reflecting the reduced sales opportunities we had anticipated for elementary school textbooks, particularly reading and social studies. The College Division recorded higher sales for the year as did The Riverside Publishing Company, which reported a double-digit sales increase that included the first shipments of new editions of its major tests as well as sales of tests acquired from DLM, Inc., at the beginning of the fourth quarter. General publishing segment sales increased 5 percent led by the Software Division which again recorded a double-digit sales gain. Trade & Reference Division sales also rose for the year led by sales of the new edition of The American Heritage Dictionary and a number of successful adult trade books.
 Darehshori said, "The company made a number of moves in 1992 that position it for long-term growth including the divestiture of international businesses that were reporting losses, and the acquisition of key new publications in its testing and college businesses. These actions along with strong publications lists in its school, college, trade, and testing businesses and increased sales opportunities in the elementary school market position the company to perform extremely well in 1993 and later years."
 HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Unaudited Consolidated Financial Information
 (Dollars in thousands except per share amounts)
 Three months ended 12 months ended
 Dec. 31 Dec. 31
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $78,180 $78,437 $454,706 $466,801
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of sales 41,273 44,108 220,278 228,930
 Selling & administrative 44,565 42,938 188,789 190,477
 Restructuring charges --- --- --- 2,532
 Total 85,838 87,046 409,067 421,939
 Operating income (loss)
 before accounting change in
 1992 for postretirement
 benefits (7,658) (8,609) 45,639 44,862
 Recognition of postretirement
 benefits on accrual
 basis (1,329) --- (1,329) ---
 Operating income (loss) (8,987) (8,609) 44,310 44,862
 Net interest expense (114) (386) (2,339) (3,706)
 Loss on disposition of
 publishing operations(a)(13,527) --- (13,527) (710)
 Income (loss) before taxes
 and cumulative effect of
 accounting changes (22,628) (8,995) 28,444 40,446
 Provision (credit) for
 income taxes (10,035) (3,413) 9,373 15,369
 Income (loss) before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes (12,593) (5,582) 19,071 25,077
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes:
 Postretirement benefits
 net of tax credit(b) (13,357) --- (13,357) ---
 Income taxes(b) (1,300) --- (1,300) ---
 Net income (loss) $(27,250) $(5,582) $4,414 $25,077
 Net income (loss) per
 share: income before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting changes ($0.92) ($0.39) $1.35 $1.75
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting changes (1.06) --- (1.04) ---
 Total ($1.98) ($0.39) $0.31 $1.75
 Avg. shares outstanding
 during each period 13,790,317 14,290,676 14,029,050 14,314,396
 HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
 Note To Unaudited Consolidated Financial Information
 NOTE(a): The loss incurred in the disposition of publishing operations amounted to 50 cents and 3 cents per share in 1992 and 1991, respectively. The direct losses incurred prior to date of sale by these publishing units, and included in the company's financial statements, are set forth in the following table. The 1991 pre-tax loss for 1991 included Australian losses of approximately $1.7 million, or 11 cents per share. There were no Australian losses in 1991's fourth quarter.
 Fourth Quarter Full Year
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 ($ in millions, except per share)
 Operating loss ($0.3) ($1.4) ($2.5) ($4.9)
 Net interest expense --- (0.1) (0.4) (0.4)
 Pre-tax loss ($0.3) ($1.5) ($2.9) ($5.3)
 Net loss per share ($0.02) ($0.10) ($0.20) ($0.37)
 NOTE(b): The company adopted the provision of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards(SFAS) No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" and SFAS No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes" with effect from Jan. 1, 1992. The non- cash, after-tax cost of the adoption of both standards amounted to $15.5 million, or $1.10 per share, including an incremental after-tax cost of $.8 million, or $.06 per share, related to the increased accrual accounting expense for postretirement benefits since Jan. 1, 1992. The company has not restated previously issued 1992 quarterly results to reflect the adoption of both standards since the effect on these quarters is not material.
 -0- 1/21/93
 /CONTACT: Stephen O. Jaeger, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Houghton Mifflin, 617-725-5017/
 (HTN)


CO: Houghton Mifflin Company ST: Massachusetts IN: PUB SU: ERN

DD -- NE004 -- 7290 01/21/93 10:04 EST
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Date:Jan 21, 1993
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