American Greetings Profit Rises

The company plans a share buyback.
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Greeting-card maker

American Greetings

(AM) - Get Report

said its profit rose 96% in the fourth quarter.

The company earned $41.8 million, or 58 cents a share, in the quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with $21.4 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Income from continuing operations was 70 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 47 cents a share in the quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 4.9% from a year ago to $509.3 million, topping analysts' expectations of $483.7 million.

For fiscal 2007, the company predicts earnings of 80 cents to $1 a share. Analysts forecast earnings of $1.15 a share for the year.

"Besides a focus on our card business, we are significantly enhancing our capital structure to permit simultaneous expenditures in both our core card business as well as an investment in our own shares," the company said. "Our objective in making these concurrent investments is to generate higher earnings per share over the long-term. We believe our shares are trading at a discount to intrinsic value."

The company also said it plans to change its capital structure, which will result in $1 billion of new or amended financial facilities.

Early Thursday, American Greetings rose 60 cents to $22.67.

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