Owens-Illinois posts rise in operating profit

Container glass manufacturer Owens-Illinois Inc on 29 October 2008 posted 3Q 2008 operating earnings ahead of expectations, as price increases and lower interest expenses offset the impact of lower sh…

Container glass manufacturer Owens-Illinois Inc on 29 October 2008 posted 3Q 2008 operating earnings ahead of expectations, as price increases and lower interest expenses offset the impact of lower shipment volumes and higher costs. Excluding items, the Perrysburg, Ohio-based company posted quarterly earnings from continuing operations of USD 0.90 a share, up from a year-ago profit of USD 0.78 a share and above the average Wall Street forecast of USD 0.85 a share. Including restructuring charges and other items, earnings from continuing operations rose by a cent to USD 0.46 a share in the recent quarter. However, net income slumped to USD 78.6 million, or USD 0.46 a share, from a year-ago profit of USD 1.15 billion, or USD 6.86 a share. The year-ago quarter benefited from the sale of the company“s plastics packaging business. The company, which also makes bottles used for food and beverage products, said quarterly revenue rose 4% to USD 2.01 billion. Analysts on average had forecast revenues of USD 2.03 billion, according to Reuters Estimates. In September 2008, Owens-Illinois said its board approved a plan authorizing management to repurchase up to USD 350 million of the company“s shares. At the time, the company also cut its free cash flow outlook for 2008 to a range of between USD 332 million and USD 400 million, down from the USD 500 million it had anticipated earlier in 2008. The company said the lower forecast was due to weakening end-markets in North America and Europe and the negative impact from the strengthening of the US dollar versus the euro and Australian dollar.