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R.R. Donnelley Q4 Net Income Drops

R.R. Donnelley, the printer, communication services and logistics company, reported net fourth-quarter income of $72 million in 2000 compared with $100 million in 1999.

For the full 12 months, excluding one-time items, the company reported net income of $259 million, compared with $285 million a year earlier.

Declines in the company's logistics and direct mail businesses and a slowdown in U.S. capital markets drove the results.

“Our slowdown in direct mail can be attributed to the cutbacks in sweepstakes mailings and bank card solicitation mailings that we began to see last year,” said Vera Panchak, an R.R. Donnelley spokeswoman.

However, Donnelley, Chicago, said this slowdown overshadowed the solid full-year performance of its other businesses. This performance was driven by continuing productivity improvements and strong demand for magazines, catalogs, advertising inserts and books.

“R.R. Donnelley moves into 2001 focused on taking strong actions to turn around our underperforming businesses while responding to challenges posed by the economy,” said William L. Davis, chairman/president/CEO. He added that the company expects earnings per share for 2001 to range from $2.20 to $2.35. “This is consistent with our revised operating plans for the year and will allow us to achieve our strategies.”

To reach these goals, R.R. Donnelley's board of directors has authorized a $300 million stock repurchase program that expires Jan. 31, 2002. The new authorization replaces the previous authorization under which R.R. Donnelley bought 7.7 million shares at a cost of $198 million.

Continued strong cash flow enabled R.R. Donnelley to redirect capital to existing businesses that offer value-added services and to develop new capabilities to help its customers communicate more effectively with their audiences.

For example, the company expanded capabilities in its pre-media business, achieving nationwide coverage through acquisitions and expansions. The company also invested in its growing Internet consulting business, Red Rover Digital. Also, R.R. Donnelley continues to invest in productivity tools.

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