After a Bruising Year, McGraw-Hill Faces a Tough Fourth Quarter
As a result, analysts are expecting something of an uphill battle for McGraw-Hill's fourth quarter. According to First Call, the consensus fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimate for the global information services provider is 40 cents a share (on a 1.1% overall decrease in revenue). For the full year of 2009, the EPS estimate is $2.26 (a 7.3% drop). First Call also expects McGraw-Hill to earn 25 cents and $2.56 a share for first-quarter 2010 and fiscal 2010, respectively.
On Jan. 20, in a bid to return more capital to shareholders, McGraw-Hill increased its regular quarterly cash dividend on common stock to 23.5 cents a share, a 4.4% jump and the 37th consecutive annual increase. The new dividend payout, which goes into effect on March 10, is part of a 17.1 million share repurchase program initially approved in 2007. The program had been halted a year ago to preserve capital.