AKRON, Ohio (AP) ¿ Myers Industries Inc., a maker of plastic products for industrial, agricultural, automotive, commercial and retail buyers, said Thursday it expects to post first-quarter earnings that are lower than a year ago. The company said it plans to issue its earnings release for the first quarter on April 16. Based on preliminary closing data, it expects to report earnings per share in the range of 11 cents to 14 cents, including expenses primarily related to restructuring programs. Excluding expenses related to restructuring programs, Myers Industries expects first-quarter earnings per share to be in the range of 21 cents to 24 cents. A year ago, the company reported earnings per share of 25 cents in the first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who generally exclude one-time items from their estimates, were expecting earnings per share of 9 cents in the latest first quarter. Shares in Myers Industries rose 49 cents, or 7.10 percent, to close Thursday at $7.39.