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Logistics, Direct Mail Deflate R.R. Donnelley's Stock Expectations

Print production firm R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. announced on Dec. 22 that it expects earnings per share to be lower than previously expected for the year 2000.

R.R. Donnelley, Chicago, has reduced the range for full-year earnings to $2.15 to $2.20 per share from the upper $2.20s to the lower $2.30s. These ranges include the 6 cents one-time gain disclosed during the third quarter of 2000.

The change in the company's expectations primarily stems from its logistics business, according to a statement issued by R.R. Donnelley. During the fourth quarter, the company's logistics business experienced higher transportation and fuel costs as well as higher costs in meeting service commitments for both packages and printed material.

The company said it is taking actions to move to higher-margin work and to improve the operations of its distribution network.

Several other R.R. Donnelley businesses are experiencing weaker financial results compared with previous expectations.

The firm said sales continue to fall short of expectations in RRD Direct, the company's direct mail business, as well as in the company's Mexican operations. Healthcare costs also have affected the company.

R.R. Donnelley also announced it will immediately resume its share repurchase activity. The company is currently authorized to spend up to $165 million for share repurchases and will review this authorization in conjunction with its 2001 planning.

The company is completing its planning process for the upcoming year and intends to release a full earnings report on Jan. 31.

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