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Wellman Posts Loss

First-quarter revenue declines from last year.
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fell after the polyester-products company swung to a loss in the most recent first quarter.

The company had a loss of $16 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with earnings of $11.6 million, or 22 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue totaled $342.7 million, down from $386.3 million last year.

Tom Duff, Wellman's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the company's first-quarter sales and earnings were hurt "by the surge in PET resin and polyester staple fiber imports that were caused by the increased raw-material cost advantage Asian polyester producers enjoyed compared to domestic producers during the latter part of 2005, primarily as a result of the Gulf Coast hurricanes."

Shares of Wellman sank $1.32, or 19.1%, to $5.58 in recent trading.