The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Apollo Global
Management, Thomson Reuters, FactSet Research Systems and International Paper
CHICAGO, March 28, 2013
CHICAGO, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
(NYSE:MHP), Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE:APO), Thomson Reuters
Corporation(NYSE:TRI),FactSet Research Systems Inc.(NYSE:FDS) and
International Paper Company(NYSE:IP).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
McGraw-Hill Resumes Share Buyback
Concurrent to the sale of its education division,The McGraw-Hill Companies
Inc. (NYSE:MHP) resumed its accelerated share repurchase program with $500
McGraw-Hill will be buying back shares using a portion of the proceeds it
received from the divestiture of its education segment. The company had
earlier stated that it expects to utilize the proceeds from sales
(approximately $1.9 billion net of tax) to buy back shares, reduce short-term
debt obligations and for strategic acquisitions.
McGraw-Hill recently completed the divestiture of its education division to
theApollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE:APO) for $2.4 billion cash.
As part of its "Growth and Value Plan", McGraw-Hill returned significant
capital to the investors in the recent past. The company repurchased $1.5
billion worth of shares in 2011, while it bought back $300 million worth of
shares in 2012. Moreover, it distributed $300 million in dividends in 2012 and
paid a special dividend of $700 million in Dec 2012.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, McGraw-Hill had approximately 16.9
million shares remaining under its existing share repurchase program. Taking
into account the impact of this new accelerated share repurchase program, the
company will have roughly 8 million shares remaining under its current buyback
McGraw-Hill has a healthy capital and cash position, which facilitates it to
maintain an efficient capital deployment strategy. Apart from share buybacks
and dividend payments, the company channels its excess capital toward
McGraw-Hill has made several strategic investments in its core businesses to
drive long-term profitability. The formation of S&P Dow Jones Indices coupled
with S&P Capital IQ's acquisitions of Credit Market Analysis Limited,
QuantHouse, R2 Financial Technologies and TheMarkets.com position it well
against its competitors,Thomson Reuters Corporation(NYSE:TRI),FactSet
Research Systems Inc.(NYSE:FDS) and Bloomberg to grab a wider market through
superior functionality and investor oriented services and in turn help boost
the top- and bottom-line results of the company.
Going forward, McGraw-Hill expects revenues to increase in the high
single-digit, while adjusted earnings are forecasted to be in the range of
$3.10 – $3.20 per share for 2013, up 15% year over year.
Despite these positives, shares of McGraw-Hill hold a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) as
the $5 billion civil fraud case against S&P ratings by the U.S. Department of
Justice remains a drag on the stock.
IP Commits to Sustainably Forest Management
International Paper Company(NYSE:IP), a global paper and packaging firm, has
recently pledged its commitment to sustainable forest management by joining
the Global Forest & Trade Network in North America (GFTN) that focuses on
eliminating illegal logging and promoting eco-friendly and socially secured
forest management practices. With this initiative, International Paper has
joined the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) led campaign to support and facilitate
greater coordination of national and regional efforts for a responsible and
credible forest management program.
Initially, International Paper's participation will be limited to the fiber
sourced from its North American and Brazilian mills, representing over
two-thirds of its global fiber volume. The company expects its involvement and
purchasing power to eventually force the suppliers for responsible forestry
around the globe. In concurrence with this commitment, International Paper
will issue an updated global fiber sourcing policy at its corporate website.
Earlier, in 2012, International Paper had announced a voluntary initiative to
increase the third-party certified wood fiber by 15% by 2020. Joining GFTN
partly fulfills this goal of the company and further supports to preserve the
biodiversity and ecological balance. The company has already increased its
sourcing of wood fiber from Forest Stewardship Council in the U.S. by over 1.2
million tons in the past five-year period, and expects a three-fold increase
International Paper has historically followed an inorganic growth strategy to
extend its operations.
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