Quad/Graphics Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of print-services company Quad/Graphics (NAS: QUAD) were printing up gains for shareholders today as they rose as much as 27% in intraday trading after the company reported fourth-quarter results and raised its dividend.

So what: It's been a pretty miserable year for Quad/Graphics shareholders as they've watched the stock fall from the mid-40s this time last year to the midteens today. While today's jump doesn't nearly heal that wound, it's at least a move in the right direction.

Sales for the quarter fell from the prior year -- from $1.39 billion to $1.31 billion -- but topped the $1.28 billion that Wall Street was expecting. The adjusted EBITDA number that management watches -- which is a cash-flow-type measure -- came in at $197 million, again down from last year, but ahead of what analysts were looking for.

Now what: In an increasingly digital world, it's a tough place for a company focused on print. However, Quad/Graphics told investors that though it's "cautious" about 2012, the business will continue to at least tread water. Excluding sales from its Canadian division, management sees 2012 revenue of $4 billion, which should be somewhere in the same neighborhood as 2011 sales on a similar basis. Meanwhile, the adjusted EBITDA margin at best is expected to hold steady, though it doesn't sound like management expects it to drop drastically if it does fall.

While all of that may seem discouraging, the company feels confident enough about the future that it raised its dividend 25% to $0.25 per share. That will take the stock's dividend yield -- based on the stock price at the time of this writing -- to roughly 6.5%.

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