DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Owens-Illinois Inc.'s (OI) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the glass-container company saw sales increase on stronger pricing.
Shares climbed 5.3% to $30 in after-hours trading as the results topped Wall Street estimates. The stock is off 13% so far this year.
Chief Executive Al Stroucken said higher prices should more than offset cost inflation, which it expects to remain modest, in 2010. He also said he expects global glass shipments to improve from last year.
Packaging companies are heavily dependent on sales of consumer products, putting them at the leading edge of any recovery. In the meantime, cost-cutting has mitigated the downturn's effects, but Owens-Illinois warned a quarter ago seasonal volume trends and production cuts to reduce inventories would likely hurt fourth-quarter earnings.
For the latest quarter, Owens-Illinois reported a loss from continuing operations of $159.3 million, or 95 cents a share, narrowing from a year-earlier loss of $228.6 million, or $1.38 a share. Excluding restructuring costs, write-downs and other items, earnings rose to 49 cents a share from 45 cents.
Net sales increased to $1.9 billion from $1.7 billion as improved pricing and mix and favorable foreign currency translations more than offset lower shipments.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of 47 cents on revenue of $1.8 billion.
Glass shipments declined 5%.
-By Jay Miller and Lauren Pollock, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2356; firstname.lastname@example.org