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Schawk Shares Plunge On Estimated 2008 Loss

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ Shares of Schawk Inc. plunged more than one-third Wednesday, a day after the provider of digital imaging services said it expects to post an operating loss of $30 million to $40 million for 2008.

Preliminary results included $35 million in one-time charges and between $20 million and $30 million in impairment charges.

The Des Plaines, Ill., company also said sales in 2008 were about $489.2 million, down 9.2 percent from 2007.

And it said it is evaluating its compliance with financial covenants under its debt agreements and will seek waivers or amendments from lenders if it determines it is not in compliance with the covenants.

Schawk also said it will file its earnings statement for the fourth quarter and 2008 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission following an internal review of its financial results and an audit.

Analyst Craig R. Kennison of Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. downgraded Schawk to "Underperform" from "Outperform."

"Schawk has a history of accounting delays and restatements, leaving a cloud of uncertainty to linger," he said in a note to investors Wednesday.

Kennison cut his 2008 earnings estimate to 45 cents per share from 54 cents. He reduced his 2009 estimate to 60 cents per share from $1 per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate earnings for 2008 to be 55 cents per share. For 2009, analysts expect earnings to be $1 per share.

Shares fell $3.13, or 35 percent, to $5.68 in morning trading.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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