AptarGroup Trips on Its Earnings

Lower sales bedevil the company.
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On Feb. 5, 2009,

AptarGroup

(ATR) - Get Report

registered an 11.5% fall in its Q4 FY08 earnings on lower sales. Net income declined to $31.67 million or $0.46 per share from $35.80 million or $0.50 per share a year ago. The latest quarterly earnings topped the consensus estimate of $0.44 per share.

The company's revenue decreased 5.8% to $455.93 million from $483.76 million a year ago, adversely affected by unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Excluding currency effects, sales grew 2.0% year-over-year, driven by acquisitions as well as increased product and custom tooling sales by the company's Closures and Pharma segments. Segment-wise, Beauty & Home revenues slipped 10.3% to $228.15 million from $254.46 million. Closures revenue dipped 3.3% to $120.80 million from $124.97 million in the prior year's quarter. On the positive side, revenue from the Pharma segment increased 2.6% to $106.98 million from $104.25 million as a result of strong demand for metered dose inhaler valves and nasal spray pumps.

Recently, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share, payable on Feb. 19, 2009.

For FY08, net sales grew 9.5% to $2.07 billion from $1.89 billion in FY07, as increased product sales contributed 5.0% to sales growth and changes in exchange rates added 4.0%. Accordingly, earnings rose 8.3% to $153.50 million or $2.18 per share from $141.74 million or $1.98 per share.

Looking forward, AptarGroup expects softness in its Beauty & Home and Closures segments during the upcoming quarters, and anticipates earnings per share to be in the range of $0.35 to $0.40 per share compared to earnings of $0.52 per share in the prior year's quarter.

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