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Steelcase reports flat 3rd quarter

Saturday 19 December 2009

Office furniture company Steelcase Inc. on Friday reported a flat third quarter as its customers continued to avoid major purchases.

The company broke even for the quarter ended Nov. 27, compared with a profit of $400,000 in the year\'s prior quarter. Earnings per share were nil in both quarters.

The current quarter results included a $5.3 million benefit associated with increases in the cash surrender value of the company life insurance and a $4.8 million charge for restructuring costs. Prior-year operating income included a $27.5 million charge associated with decreases in the value of the cash surrender value of the life insurance and a $4.7 million restructuring charge.

Revenue fell 24.1 percent to $616.1 million. While sales fell across most of its markets, revenue saw a $16 million benefit favorable currency translation compared to 2008.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected break-even earnings per share on $597.9 million revenue.

And Steelcase said it expects flat income in fourth quarter as well. The company said it expects revenue will dip more than normal for the season to $570 million, down from the $654.9 million it reported in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

Analysts anticipate the company will earn 1 cent per share on revenue of $588.7 million for the fourth quarter.

James P. Hackett, CEO of Steelcase, said the timing of a complete industry recovery remains difficult to predict but said day-to-day order are stabilizing and there is a modest return of year-end business.

Shares of Steelcase fell 2 cents to $6.05 in midday trading Friday.

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