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BF Goodrich


said Thursday that earnings fell short of last year's comparison and warned of obstacles ahead for 2000.

Shares of the company were flat at 25 1/4 in early trading Thursday. (Shares closed down 9/16, or 2.2%, at 24 11/16.)

BF Goodrich, manufacturer of aerospace components and specialty chemicals, reported earnings of 78 cents for the quarter, 2 cents above consensus expectations from

First Call/Thomson Financial

, but well below the 85 cents per share from the year-earlier quarter.

Net income fell 8% to $87 million from $94.4 million a year ago.

Revenue dropped modestly to $1.3 billion compared with $1.39 billion from the quarter the year before.

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On an after-tax basis, the company incurred net special charges of $20.7 million in the quarter from costs associated with its $2 billion buyout of

Coltec Industries

in July.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company is composed primarily of two segments: aerospace, components it sells to


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and others, and the performance materials business, which makes polymers.

In the aerospace segment, operating income decreased 6% to $140.4 million and sales declined 5% to $870.1 million compared to the year-ago quarter, which was the most profitable in the segment's history The company cited lower demand for aerospace parts and landing gear.

In the performance materials segment, operating income increased 10% to $34.8 million and sales increased slightly to $300.4 million. The increase in operating income reflects improved results in consumer specialties and continued productivity savings, partially offset by lower prices in the rest of the segment, according to the company.

David Burner, BF Goodrich's chairman and chief executive, cautioned that the year ahead is riddled with challenges.

"With the decline in commercial aircraft deliveries in 2000, the company will look to its increasingly strong presence in the after-market and in regional and business aircraft markets for growth," Burner said in a statement. "The Performance Materials segment will face higher raw material costs, while softness is likely to continue in the markets served by the company's industrial products. In light of these conditions, BFGoodrich continues to anticipate that its financial performance in 2000 will be relatively flat compared to 1999."