Quad/Graphics’ loss widens

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. reported a first quarter net loss of $35.2 million, or 74 cents lost per share, compared with a net loss of $9.1 million, or 19 cents lost per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

The commercial printer reported an operating loss of $11.8 million, compared with operating income of 11 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue totaled $1.1 billion, flat from the first quarter of 2014. The company attributed the figure to continued volume and pricing pressures in the printing industry, which were partially offset by higher earnings driven by recently acquired companies.

The company also pointed out its free cash flow in the quarter was $22 million, up $35 million over the first quarter of 2014, due both to working capital improvements and a $10 million termination fee the company received when its acquisition of Courier Corp. fell through.

“Our continued strong cash generation enables us to generate value for the company and for our shareholders despite ongoing industry challenges,” said Dave Honan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Quad/Graphics. “We use our capital to pursue compelling investment opportunities, deleverage the balance sheet through debt and pension liability reductions, and return cash to our shareholders. We continue to believe Quad/Graphics will be a significant free cash flow generator, and we remain confident in our ability to pay down debt and drive future value.”

Quad declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share, to be paid out on June 19 to shareholders of record as of June 8.

“Our first quarter results were in-line with our expectations, and we remain on track to achieve our 2015 financial objectives,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Quad/Graphics. “We remain focused on growing market share, improving productivity, implementing sustainable cost reduction initiatives, and maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet. We will continue to invest in our existing business while pursuing compelling acquisition opportunities, like Marin’s International, a worldwide leader in the point-of-sale display industry, and, more recently, Copac Global Packaging, an international provider of innovative packaging and supply chain solutions. As we move forward, we will continue to transform both Quad/Graphics and our industry with a disciplined approach that creates value for our clients and shareholders.”

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