CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) ¿ Spartan Motors Inc., which makes vehicle chassis for fire trucks, RVs and other vehicles, said Thursday its third-quarter income plunged 95 percent as sales tumbled following the conclusion of a large defense contract. The results were worse than analysts expected and company shares plunged in afternoon trading. Spartan Motors, which has been restructuring to cope with falling demand, said its profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 dropped 95 percent to $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, from $14.7 million, or 45 cents per share, last year. Excluding a restructuring charge, the company earned 4 cents per share. Revenue fell 62 percent to $89.7 million, partly because a large-scale defense contract ended. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to earn 7 cents per share on sales of $87.9 million. However, Spartan said orders rose 28 percent compared with the second quarter, "which may be an early indication that demand is heading in the right direction," CEO John Sztykiel said in a statement. Shares of Spartan Motors have traded between $1.31 and $11.75 in the last 52 weeks, and are up 27 percent since the beginning of the year. On Thursday, shares fell 57 cents, or nearly 10 percent, to close at $5.43 and continued sliding after-hours, down 43 cents, or 8 percent, to $5.
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