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American Standard Cuts Guidance

The company cites weak results in its bath and kitchen segment.
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Toilet maker

American Standard


posted modest third-quarter sales and earnings gains, but the company missed Wall Street targets and reduced full-year guidance, citing lackluster results in its bath and kitchen segment.

The Piscataway, N.J., maker of plumbing and air conditioning fixtures said it made $159 million, or 74 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago $156 million, or 71 cents a share. Sales rose 9.5% from a year earlier to $2.62 billion. On an adjusted basis excluding consolidation expenses and tax items, earnings rose 15% from last year to 75 cents a share, missing the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate by 3 cents.

"We delivered good performance for the quarter," said Fred Poses, chairman and CEO. "Air Conditioning Systems and Services, our largest business, generated strong sales, segment income and segment income as a percentage of sales, with gains in both residential and commercial areas of the business. These results, combined with another solid quarter from Vehicle Control Systems, reduced the impact of lower earnings in Bath and Kitchen."

The company expects to make about 30 cents a share for the fourth quarter, reversing last year's 41-cent loss. On an adjusted basis, earnings should match last year's 46-cent figure, which would fall far short of the 55-cent Wall Street estimate.

Citing the weak earnings, the company also cut cash-flow estimates. For the year, American Standard expects to generate net cash provided by operating activities of about $840 million and free cash flow of about $520 million. The company previously estimated $880 million in net cash provided by operating activities and $550 million in free cash flow. In 2004, the company generated $765 million in net cash provided by operating activities and free cash flow of $505 million.

Early Tuesday, American Standard was set to open at $44.08.