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 user 2008-01-29 at 12:32:00 pm Views: 65
  • #19293

    Lexmark’s Net Rises 10%….Despite Lower Revenue
    Lexmark International Inc.’s fourth-quarter net income surprisingly rose 10% though sales fell as the business segment’s results failed to offset slumping consumer demand.The news sent shares rallying in premarket trading, climbing to $32.50 from Monday’s closing price of $29.34.

    The Kentucky printer maker recorded net income of $99 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with $89.9 million, or 91 cents a share, a year earlier. The results included restructuring charges of 25 cents and 14 cents, respectively.Revenue fell 4.3% to $1.31 billion from $1.37 billion. The company in October projected per-share earnings excluding items of 50 cents to 60 cents on revenue down by the low-to-mid single digits. The latest mean estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Financial were for earnings of 58 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion.”Although EPS greatly exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter, we have more work to do as we continue to implement our strategy to drive our growth in higher usage segments,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Paul J. Curlander.Lexmark’s gross margin rose to 33.4% from 30.8%. The company’s business-segment revenue climbed 4% to $800 million. But the consumer segment reported a 15% decline to $509 million.Lexmark, citing “a very challenging” consumer market situation in the third quarter, said it planned to move 1,650 jobs to low-cost countries by the end of 2008, a move which it expects to save $40 million this year, and $60 million annually after that.

    Eastman Kodak Co. increased competition in the market for inkjet printers last year by introducing its long-awaited line of printers, with ink cartridges priced far less than its competitors. Industry watchers believed that would cause trouble for inkjet-printer makers, especially second-tier vendors like Lexmark.Looking forward, Lexmark expects first-quarter earnings excluding items of 80 cents to 90 cents a share, compared to 96 cents a share in the prior year. Revenue is expected to be down in the mid- to high-single digit percentage range. Analysts expected first-quarter per-share earnings of 80 cents, with revenue falling 5% to $1.2 billion.Lexmark said Tuesday it didn’t repurchase its stock in the latest quarter. The company’s remaining share repurchase authorization was about $295 million on Dec. 31