Ferro Corporation (“The Company,” NYSE: FOE) announced that adjusted earnings for 2012 are now expected to be $0.07 to $0.12 per diluted share, after adjusting for special charges. The revised forecast includes an expected loss of approximately $0.14 to $0.17 per share related to the Company’s solar pastes business. The earnings forecast also includes an approximately $0.14 per share positive adjustment due to a planned change in the Company’s method of recognizing defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit expense (described below). The Company had previously indicated that 2012 adjusted earnings were expected to be $0.15 to $0.20 per diluted share. When adjusted for the $0.14 per share impact of the benefit accounting change, the previous adjusted earnings guidance was $0.29 to $0.34 per diluted share. The change in guidance is primarily the result of deterioration in the Company’s forecast for its solar pastes and metal powders businesses, and further weakening of business conditions in Europe, partially offset by the pension expense adjustment.
“The market for conductive pastes used in the manufacture of solar cells has been particularly challenging for much of 2011 and 2012 as the solar industry struggles with overcapacity and rapidly falling prices for solar power panels. While we have made some progress in our efforts to develop new customers, the pace at which we have been able to achieve new product qualifications at the larger solar cell manufacturers has been insufficient to generate the sales volume needed to contribute adequate value to our shareholders,” said Ferro Chairman, President and CEO James Kirsch. “We are now exploring strategic options for our solar pastes business in an effort to eliminate its drag on our earnings and cash flow. When combined with our commitment to reduce operating expenses across all of our businesses, we believe we are on a path to deliver improved shareholder value.”
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