The Company expects 2012 sales, excluding precious metal pass-throughs, to be approximately the same as in 2011, after including the negative impact of lower forecasted foreign exchange rates. Sales of precious metals are expected to decline due to lower average prices and lower volume. The sales outlook assumes modest economic growth in all regions except Europe.
Sales of Electronic Materials products are expected to be lower in 2012 compared with 2011. However, sales of these products are expected to improve during the course of 2012, with most of the improvement expected in the second half of the year. The 2012 worldwide demand for solar power is expected to be flat to down, after taking into account recent changes in European incentive programs. The Company has limited visibility regarding the strength and timing of a recovery in demand for solar pastes and the pace of customer adoption of the Company’s new paste products.
Based on the Company’s current view of demand for its Electronic Materials products, adjusted earnings per share in 2012 are expected to be toward the low end of the previously provided guidance range of $0.40 to $0.65 per diluted share.
Adjusted earnings per share is equal to income (loss) before taxes, plus restructuring and impairment charges, and other special charges, adjusted for a normalized tax rate that is consistent with the Company’s expected future effective tax rate excluding discrete items, and divided by the average number of common shares outstanding. The Company’s expected future effective tax rate is lower than the U.S. statutory rate because of expected earnings in foreign jurisdictions with lower tax rates. Ferro believes this data provides investors with additional useful information on the underlying operations of the business and enables period-to-period comparability of financial performance.
The Company will host a conference call to discuss its first quarter financial results, its outlook for general business conditions and its current outlook for 2012 on Thursday, April 26, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. To participate in the call, dial 800-750-5845 if calling from the United States or Canada, or dial 212-231-2930 if calling from outside North America. Please call approximately 10 minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin.