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American Greetings Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

If you would like more information on our risks involved in forward-looking statements, please see our annual report or our SEC filings. Previous earnings releases as well as our 10-Qs, 10-Ks and annual report are available on the Investors section of the American Greetings website.

We will now proceed with comments from both our CEO and CFO, followed by a question-and-answer session. Zev?

Zev Weiss

Thank you, Greg, and good morning, everyone. Today, I will cover 4 main topics. I will share a few brief thoughts on our first fiscal quarter results. Second, I will comment on our product leadership strategy. Third, a few comments about our online distribution of greeting cards through And lastly, a few comments on our acquisition of certain assets of the U.K. retailer, Clinton Cards.

I am pleased with the overall performance of our core business in the first fiscal quarter. Holding aside the impact of Clinton Cards in the quarter, our operating margin was slightly ahead of our internal expectations, which was admittedly a margin target below our prior year.

Versus our internal plan, we experienced a strong Mother's Day. Also during the quarter, we carefully managed expenses such that we were favorable to our internal expectations. Though due to both healthy sell-through of product at retail, as well as well-controlled costs in getting our market-leading product to retail, we had a good quarter in our core business.

At the beginning of the year, we offered guidance for cash flow from operations minus capital expenditures, estimating that it would be approximately $45 million to $65 million for this fiscal year. Holding aside the impact of Clinton Cards, we seem to be on pace to achieve that level of cash flow. However, we recognize that this year's cash flow will be impacted by the Clinton Cards transaction. And as a result, we are not prepared to affirm or update our guidance at this time. Later during the year, we hope to provide additional context on our cash flow and how some of our larger projects may affect our cash flow including Clinton Cards as well as our systems refresh and headquarters projects.

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