Libbey Inc. warned investors today that it expects to report a first quarter loss of between $6 million and $8 million when it releases its full financial results early next month. The news sent its stock plummeting 20 percent in early trading.
Officials told investors in February that profitability in the first half of the year would be hurt somewhat by currency exchange rates and some large capital expenditures, including rebuilding furnaces that melt glass Libbey uses to make its tableware. But the Toledo company said today it has come up against a number of other factors that have dragged on profits.
Particularly, Libbey said, it had been forced to cut prices to maintain market share in what has developed into a very volatile global market. It also said it has been affected by hedges it made in natural gas.
In a statement, Libbey Chief Executive Officer William Foley said the company expects to cut expenses by $5 million in response to the weak first quarter. Mr. Foley also said Libbey will adjust its its capital spending plan to the low end of the estimated range for 2017.
“We believe we are focused on the right areas to ensure that we emerge from this difficult environment as an even stronger leader in the industry," Mr. Foley said.
Libbey told investors it expects net sales of $173 million in the first quarter, compared to $183 million in last year’s first quarter. The company posted a $700,000 profit in the first quarter of last year.
Its shares about 3 p.m. traded at $10.82, down 23 percent.
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