United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ: USTR) reported second quarter 2011 results.

Second Quarter Financial Summary
  • Net sales were up 2.9% to $1.26 billion compared with $1.22 billion in the prior-year quarter.
  • Diluted earnings per share were $0.54 versus $0.55 in the prior-year quarter. Excluding non-cash items described below, adjusted earnings per share were $0.59 (1), up 16% compared with $0.51 (1) in the prior-year period. More information on these non-cash items is presented at the end of this news release.
  • Second quarter gross margin was $184.2 million, or 14.7% of sales, compared with $179.2 million, or 14.7% of sales, in the prior-year quarter.
  • Operating expenses were $136.4 million, or 10.9% of sales, compared with $128.9 million, or 10.6% of sales in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the non-cash items, second quarter 2011 adjusted operating expenses were $132.0 million (1) or 10.5% (1) of sales, compared with $131.7 million (1) or 10.8% (1) of sales.
  • Operating margin was $47.8 million, or 3.8% of sales, versus $50.3 million, or 4.1% of sales, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the non-cash items, adjusted operating margin was up 9.8% to $52.2 million (1) or 4.2% (1) of sales, compared with $47.6 million (1) or 3.9% (1) of sales.
  • Net income was $24.8 million compared with $27.0 million in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the non-cash items, adjusted net income was up 8.7% to $27.5 million (1), compared with $25.3 million (1).
  • Net cash provided by operating activities for the six months ended June 30, 2011 totaled $73.3 million versus $54.7 million in the prior-year period.
  • Cash paid for share repurchases totaled $69.9 million for approximately 2.1 million shares during the six months ended June 30, 2011. On July 14, 2011, the company’s board of directors approved and authorized the purchase of up to an additional $100 million of common stock. In addition, the board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.13 per share payable on October 14, 2011 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 15, 2011.

“While we experienced strong results from our growth strategies, we felt the same economic headwinds, including lingering unemployment, as many others and saw a deceleration in our overall growth rate during the quarter,” said Cody Phipps, president and chief executive officer. “We made progress towards our long-term operating margin expansion goals while investing in important skills and systems to support our strategies. Working capital discipline enabled solid cash flow and a strong financial position to fund our capital deployment priorities including growth initiatives, share repurchases and dividends.”

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