February 27, 2009 / 3:22 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Acco Brands Q4 profit beats Street view; shares jump

* Q4 adj EPS 37 cents vs est 34 cents

* Q4 rev falls 30 pct to $353.4 mln, lags Street

* Says will not provide any specific outlook for 2009

* Shares jump 42 pct (Adds conference call details, share movement)

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Office supply products maker Acco Brands Corp ABD.N posted an adjusted quarterly profit that beat market estimates, helped by lower costs, and said it expects to benefit from its cost-cutting measures in 2009, sending its shares up as much as 42 percent.

However, quarterly sales fell 30 percent as the global economic slowdown continued to weigh on all of its businesses and geographies.

“With the lowest level of consumer and business demand that we’ve seen all year, customers curtailed orders as they worked down existing inventories and chose not to make year-end rebate-related purchases,” a company executive said on a conference call.

Sales volumes have been weak for the company, which has been hit by sagging demand for office products, falling white-collar employment and lower inventories by key customers.

To counter the falling sales, the company said it was taking a number of cost-cutting measures, including job cuts and salary reductions.

Acco Brands, which cut about 5 percent of its workforce during the fourth quarter, said it suspended merit pay increases and incentive plans for at least the first six months of 2009.

The company, whose customers include office supplies retailers Staples SPLS.O and Office Depot Inc ODP.N, expects to save about $80 million from these actions in 2009.

The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $258.0 million, or $4.76 a share, compared with $14.3 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier.

The quarter included non-cash goodwill and trade name impairment charges of $249.0 million and restructuring and non-recurring charges of $22.0 million, the company said.

Selling, general and administrative expenses fell 18 percent to $91.2 million.

The Lincolnshire, Illinois-based company said it would not provide any specific sales or earnings forecast for 2009, given the low visibility due to uncertainty around consumer and business spending.

The company’s stock, which has plummeted 96 percent since touching a high of $15.80 in May last year, was up 24 cents at 91 cents Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, double click [ID:nWNAB8063] (Reporting by Mary Meyase in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal and Deepak Kannan)

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