Federal Signal

(FSS) - Get Report

said Friday its first-quarter earnings would be lower than forecast and its full-year results would be on the low end of the expected range.

The company, which makes safety and rescue equipment as well as commercial signs and tools, said earnings are now expected to be 26 cents a share, down from a previous forecast of 30 cents to 32 cents a share. The consensus estimate from four analysts surveyed by

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First Call/Thomson Financial

was 31 cents a share. The company made 38 cents a share in the year-ago period.

For the year, Federal Signal expects earnings on the low end of its already announced range of $1.50 to $1.60 a share. The analysts' consensus estimate is $1.51 a share.

Federal Signal, which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., also announced the purchase of

Athey Products

for $12 million in cash. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2000, makes mechanical sweepers and maintenance equipment. Executives said the acquisition would dilute Federal Signal's earnings in the first two quarters.

Shares of Federal Signal were down $1.72, or 7.5%, to $21.10 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.