Owens-Illinois: Second-quarter earnings

US glass and plastic container maker Owens-Illinois, Inc. said at the end of April that it expects second-quarter earnings to be in line with Thomson Financial/First Call consensus projections of 61 c…

US glass and plastic container maker Owens-Illinois, Inc. said at the end of April that it expects second-quarter earnings to be in line with Thomson Financial/First Call consensus projections of 61 cents. In a press release, the glass container maker said it provided the outlook in response to confusion from “misleading characterizations of the company“s second quarter 2002 earnings outlook by a financial reporting service.” Owens-Illinois forecast operating earnings, excluding items and an accounting change, would exceed prior-year results for both the second quarter and 2002. The US company earned 54 cents a share in the second quarter, excluding unusual items and adjusted for the Financial Accounting Standard No. 142. Owens-Illinois, however, reported a quarterly net loss of more than US$ 700 million, compared with a profit a year earlier, after taking a big asbestos-related charge. The company also said it expects operating earnings for the second quarter and full-year to exceed last year“s results, excluding special items. Owens-Illinois reported a first-quarter net loss of US$ 705.3 million, or US$ 4.86 a share, including special items, compared with a profit of US$ 48.9 million, or 30 cents a share, in the prior year. The company said it took a quarterly charge of US$ 475 million, or US$ 2.11 a share, to adjust its reserve for estimated asbestos-related costs. It said it raised the reserve to US$ 712.5 million to provide for indemnity payments and legal fees arising from asbestos personal injury lawsuits and claims. Owens-Illinois said it expects asbestos-related cash payments in 2002 to be moderately lower than 2001 payments. Cash flows from operations and other resources are expected to be sufficient to meet all asbestos costs. The company reported first-quarter operating earnings of 44 cents a share, excluding special items and the effects of an accounting change, compared with pro forma earnings of 38 cents a share, in the prior year.