LEXMARK 1ST Q.2006 PROFITS FALL BY $ 37M

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LEXMARK 1ST Q.2006 PROFITS FALL BY $ 37M

 user 2006-04-25 at 10:46:00 am Views: 51
  • #15021

    Lexmark profit falls
    APR. 25 06 /Printer maker Lexmark International Inc. said Tuesday profit declined in the first quarter as it incurred charges for a restructuring and revenue declined, but the results still beat Wall Street expectations.
    Net profit fell to $86.2 million, or 78 cents per share, compared to $123.9 million, or 96 cents per share, a year ago.
    Excluding 31 cents per share for restructuring charges and a 6-cent pension curtailment benefit, earnings would have been $1.03. In January, Lexmark unveiled a plan aimed at reducing costs that included the shutdown of a plant in Scotland, the freezing of its U.S. pension plan and layoffs affecting about 825 people
    Revenue fell to $1.28 billion, compared to $1.36 billion. Lexmark and rivals Hewlett-Packard and Canon have had to cut prices amid an industrywide slump in inkjet and laser printer sales.
    The results still beat Wall Street expectations of 69 cents per share on revenue of $1.22 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.
    Looking forward, the company expects second-quarter revenue to decline in the low-to mid-single digit range year over year. It predicts that second-quarter per share figures will range from 44 cents to 54 cents, or 70 cents to 80 cents excluding restructuring charges of about 26 cents per share. Analysts are expecting the company to earn 75 cents per share.
    Lexmark repurchased $300 million of its stock during the quarter, and its remaining share repurchase authorization was $1 billion at the end of the period.

    Lexmark Faces Near-Term Upside, Long-Term Challenges.
    Lexmark is experiencing a phenomenon that helps earnings near-term, but compresses the price-to-earnings multiple when long-term risks remain,”The interesting thing about printer companies is that when money-losing inkjet hardware sales are very weak, earnings should benefit short-term,” wrote analyst Benjamin Reitzes in a report Monday.
    “Long-term, consumables revenue could decline faster than anticipated as earnings growth becomes more reliant on cost cutting, share repurchases and other initiatives.”In fact, Reitzes believes the first half of 2006 could be a replay of the fourth quarter of 2005 in terms of beating lowered expectations by actually selling less hardware and cutting costs.The analyst consequently raised his first-quarter earnings-per-share estimate for Lexmark to 78 cents from 68 cents but lowered his revenue estimate to $1.20 billion from $1.24 billion. He also increased the fiscal 2006 earnings-per-share estimate to $3.40 from $3.05 based on a 6% revenue decline to $4.92 billion from $5.08 billion.Despite the higher near-term estimates, Reitzes cut his price target on Lexmark to $51 from $54. He maintained a “neutral” rating on the stock.Lexmark is scheduled to report first-quarter 2006 earnings before the market opens on Tuesday, April 25.