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American Greetings Corp. (NYSE:AM-OLD) reported third-quarter earnings of $1.08 per share, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 69 cents. This was significantly higher than earnings of 20 cents in the prior-year quarter.

However, consolidated revenues for the quarter were down 3.1% year over year to $440.2 million. Revenues were impacted by a 2.4% decline in the International Social Expression Products segment and a 6.2% decline in the AG Interactive segment. This was partially offset by a 10.5% growth in the North American Social Expression Products.

For the third quarter of 2009, the company posted an operating income of $42.3 million, compared to a loss of $222.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

The company has cash and cash equivalents worth $50.6 million and a debt to capitalization ratio of 37%. Cash flow from operating activities increased to $74.2 million from a negative $84.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Based on the strong cash flow performance year to date, the company raised its fiscal 2010 cash flow guidance. The company now expects cash flow from operating activities of at least $195 million and capital expenditures of approximately $35 million. Free cash flow is now expected to be $160 million. As per the previous guidance, operating cash flow was at $160 million, capital expenditures at approximately $35 million and free cash flow at approximately $125 million.

Source: Seasons Greetings: Strong Third Quarter for American Greetings Corp.