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Libbey: higher profits and estmates topped

US glass tableware maker Libbey, Inc. said improved margins following a realignment led to higher first-quarter profits that topped analysts“ forecasts.
Toledo-based Libbey said it earned US$ 6.4 mi…

US glass tableware maker Libbey, Inc. said improved margins following a realignment led to higher first-quarter profits that topped analysts“ forecasts. Toledo-based Libbey said it earned US$ 6.4 million, or 41 cents a diluted share, compared with US$ 4.0 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago, which included a charge for realignment. Excluding the charge, 1999 first-quarter net income was US$ 5.4 million, or 32 cents a share. Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial looked for Libbey to earn 39 cents in this year“s first quarter. The company noted that its decision to come out of low-margin bottleware and certain low-margin retail business, which totalled about US$ 5 million in the 1999 first quarter, limited sales growth but resulted in improved profit margins. John Meier, Libbey“s chairman and chief executive, said “We made great progress in the quarter in continuing to improve profit margins. This was a result of our improved glassware manufacturing cost structure and improved sales mix.” Meier also said Libbey expects to meet its goals for 2000, which are for US$ 475 million in sales, US$ 84 million in income from operations and US$ 48 million in net income. In 1999 Libbey had sales of US$ 460.6 million and net income of US$ 43.4 million, or US$ 2.64 a diluted share. First Call“s estimates for 2000 range between US$ 2.95 and US$ 3.04, with a mean estimate of US$ 2.99.

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