(Update) Wisconsin Business Briefs: Quad Graphics makes $40 million over summerWisconsin Business
-- Wisconsin’s largest printing company made $40-million this summer, after losing money during the same quarterly period a year ago. Quad/Graphics of Sussex recovered from a loss of $22-million dollars from July-through-September of 2011.
Wisconsin’s largest printing company made $40-million this summer, after losing money during the same quarterly period a year ago. Quad/Graphics of Sussex recovered from a loss of $22-million dollars from July-through-September of 2011.
Its earnings totaled 84-cents a share, compared to a 48-cent loss the year before. Quad’s sales dropped over six-percent due to both a decline in print volumes, and pricing pressures. Company president Joel Quadracci said the firm’s most recent performance was about what it expected. He said the firm expanded and renewed various printing agreements with customers – while staying diligent with its ongoing efforts to cut costs and improve productivity. Quad said it generated $53-million in free-cash-flow during the most recent quarter, and it paid down $16-million of debt. Quadracci said the debt repayments allowed his firm to take advantage of new opportunities, like its recent purchase of the bankrupt printer Vertis of Baltimore. Quad is spending just over a quarter-billion dollars to buy Vertis. The deal is expected to be finalized early next year.
A soft-drink bottler in suburban Milwaukee will pay a $15-million fine to avoid being prosecuted in an accounting fraud scheme in Pennsylvania. Krones Incorporated of Franklin was accused of helping the defunct soda-maker Le-Nature’s deceive lenders about the cost of bottling equipment that the manufacturer had financed. Federal authorities in Pittsburgh say Krones must also pay back lenders who lost money on the deal – and that brings the cost of the non-prosecution agreement to $125-million. Krones was planning to say more about the matter today. Gregory Podlucky, the founder of Le-Nature’s, is serving 20 years in prison for being the ring-leader of the accounting scheme. Officials said the company fraudulently received $875-million in equipment-and-credit leases, before creditors forced Le-Nature’s to go bankrupt six years ago.
The loss of a major customer could mean layoffs for workers at Plexus Corporation. California-based Juniper Networks is ending its arrangement with one of the Fox Cities’ biggest employers, taking about 16 percent of the company’s revenue. Plexus is hoping millions in new projects will offset the loss and minimize the need for layoffs. Plexus has more than two thousand workers in Neenah and it says the loss of the Juniper contract will no affect plans for a new 50 million dollar manufacturing plant being built there right now. Originally, that plant was expected to mean 350 new jobs to the Neenah area within the next five years.
The Wisconsin-based Kohl’s Department Stores had a two-percent increase in its quarterly profits – but it reduced its earlier projections for this year’s total earnings. Kohl’s, which is based in Menomonee Falls, reports a profit of $215-million dollars for the three months ending October 27th. Earnings totaled 91-cents a share, up from 80-cents in the same quarter of last year. Kohl’s said its revenues increased by just over one-percent in stores that have been open at least a year – and it reported a three-percent jump in total revenues to almost four-and-a-half billion dollars. For the current quarter, which includes the holidays, Kohl’s said it expected a sales jump of 7-to-8 percent, and with earnings of two-dollars to $2.08-a-share – less than the $2.16 that outside analysts projected earlier. Also, Kohl’s now says it expects total earnings for the year to be 2-to-10-cents less per share than the $4.62 projected by the analysts. Kohl’s shares fell by just over three-percent in today’s early trading.