Investors punished appliance maker
Monday after the company said its first-quarter earnings would fall well short of expectations.
The company's shares fell 10%, declining 3 9/16 to 32 13/16, near its 52-week low of 31 1/4, around midday. (Shares closed down 3 7/8, or 10.7%, at 32 1/2.)
"We already anticipated the first quarter would be slow as we build
earnings-per-share momentum through the year," said Lloyd D. Ward, chairman and chief executive of Newton, Iowa-based Maytag, in a statement. "Now the first quarter will have some added weakness we had not anticipated due to slower Dixie-Narco
vending machine sales."
Maytag said 2000 first-quarter diluted earning per share could be off more than 10% from year-ago figures of 95 cents a share. That would be far short of the 96 cents per share forecast by analysts surveyed by
First Call/Thomson Financial
Maytag said it expected earnings per share to increase 15%-20% over year-earlier figures in the second half of the year, mostly because of a range of new product introductions across its product lines.