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 user 2008-01-29 at 12:33:00 pm Views: 58
  • #19235

    Lexmark’s Net Rises 10%….Despite Lower Revenue
    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.

    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.

    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