Net sales in the third quarter of 2017 were $1.73 billion, up $9.3 million or 0.5% from the third quarter of 2016. On an organic basis, consolidated net sales decreased 0.4% driven by volume growth in the International and Strategic Services segments and favorable changes in fuel surcharges which were more than offset by net volume declines in the Variable Print segment, lower postage pass through sales in the Strategic Services segment and modest price erosion across all segments.
“We delivered solid results for the quarter with growth in both our net sales and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share,” said Dan Knotts, RRD’s president and CEO. “Through our ongoing focus on cost reduction initiatives and capital structure improvements, along with lower taxes, we were able to more than offset the negative impact of changes in foreign exchange rates and the devastating hurricanes in the south. We are now in the midst of our busiest time of the year, and we are focused on delivering a strong finish to 2017.”
Gross profit in the third quarter of 2017 was $324.4 million or 18.7% of net sales versus $364.2 million or 21.1% of net sales in the prior year quarter. The positive impact from our cost reduction initiatives was more than offset by an OPEB curtailment gain in the prior year period and unfavorable mix, modest price pressure, start-up costs related to a new facility in Asia and higher costs of transportation as a result of the hurricanes in the current period.
Income from operations of $35.9 million in the third quarter decreased $48.1 million from $84.0 million in the 2016 quarter. Net loss attributable to common stockholders from continuing operations of $8.0 million in the third quarter compared to net earnings of $22.0 million in the third quarter of 2016.
As of Sept. 30, 2017, cash on hand was $225.8 million and total debt outstanding was $2.25 billion, including $350.0 million drawn against the credit facility.
The company revised its 2017 full year guidance with the following highlights: net sales of $6.80 billion to $7.00 billion and cash flow from operations of $230 million to $280 million.
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