Summarized by Kent Larsen
Franklin Covey earnings down 34%
Deseret News 22Dec99 B4
By Max B. Knudson: Deseret News business editor
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Franklin Covey, the publisher of time
management tools and advice operated by LDS management gurus Hyrum
Smith and Steven R. Covey reported earnings down 34% from last year
for the first quarter of its fiscal year, which ended November 27th.
The company blamed the lower performance on investment in new online
training and tools meant to bring its products to the Internet.
Sales for the quarter were $144.1 million, up 3 percent over the first
quarter of fiscal 1999. But earnings fell to $7.2 million, or 26 cents
a share for the first quarter of its year 2000 fiscal year.
The growth in sales is also a mixed picture, since substantial grown
in electronic products were offset by lower volume through Publishers
Press, its print publishing arm that until recently distributed books
by other publishers to the LDS market. Franklin Covey also
discontinued its mass market channel.
The company has cut 340 jobs since last year, due to a restructuring
plan it announced in 1999. It still expects further cutbacks by the
end of May. It also plans to eliminate its offices in the Riverwoods
area of Provo.
During the quarter, Franklin Covey purchased the Internet calendar and
scheduling website DayTracker.com, as a way of gaining entrance into
the Internet. The acquisition of this business was a substantial cause
of the lower earnings. But the company has high hopes for this
investment. "The acquisition effectively combines the offline brand
leadership, customer loyalty and personal productivity expertise of
Franklin Covey with the Internet application design, development and
marketing expertise of DayTracker.com," the company said.
The result of this acquisition will be 'Franklin Planner online', a
"complementary extension" its print product, the Franklin Planner, and
its other software products, such as Franklin Planner for Microsoft
Outlook, Franklin Planner Software, and software for handheld devices
such as the Palm Pilot and Windows CE. "Synchronization and print
capabilities will unify paper, desktop, device and Web platforms into
a single planning system," the company said.