Nebraska Book Co. expects gain for year but drop in sales

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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:00 am

Nebraska Book Co., one of the nation's largest textbook suppliers, said preliminary results for the fiscal year that ended March 31 indicate adjusted earnings rose as much as 75 percent after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

The Lincoln-based company said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and certain other items will be between $38 million and $42 million, up from $24 million a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings as reported by Nebraska Book do not conform with generally accepted accounting principles, but the measurement is a common metric for companies emerging from bankruptcy and other problems.

Nebraska Book filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2011, with $547.7 million in debt and $508.3 million in assets. Debt mounted amid three ownership changes beginning in 1995 that added new debt each time a new private equity firm took over.

The operator of about 250 college bookstores said 2013 sales are expected to fall 8 percent to $458 million on fewer stores and lower sales at stores open at least a year.

Net income, a metric that does conform to generally accepted accounting principles, is expected to be $255million to $259 million, up from a loss of $170 million in 2012. The net income includes a one-time gain of $288 million from debt forgiveness that was part of the Chapter 11 reorganization.

Neebo Inc., the bookseller's parent company, will issue a final financial report next month.

Nebraska Book Co., which began in 1915 as a single college store near the University of Nebraska campus, also provides services and textbooks for sale and rent to more than 2,500 independent booksellers and other outlets.

Boston-based private equity firm Mast Capital Management is the company's the largest shareholder and holds three of the seven seats on the board.

Correction: The Nebraska Book Co. has shares that trade publicly. The shares are listed on the Pink Sheets under the symbol NEEB. A previous version of this story was incorrect.

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