Earnings Briefs

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Lexmark Sales Slide 12%, Net Nearly Reduced By Half
Lexington, Kent. — Hardware price declines, lower hardware unit sales and weak supplies sales pushed fourth quarter revenue at Lexmark International down 12 percent, to $1.4 billion, from $1.5 billion in the year-ago three months. Consumer segment revenue in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, hit $672 million, down 11 percent. Net earnings were almost cut in half during the fourth quarter, down 47 percent, to $82.3 million, from $155 million in 2004, as the company suffered a drop in printer and replacement ink and toner sales. Gross profit margin declined to 28.3 percent in the three months, compared with 32 percent year-on-year. Operating expenses as a percent of revenue increased to 20 percent vs. 19.2 percent. Lexmark announced a restructuring plan to improve its cost and expense structure, an action that will eliminate about 825 employees. Cost to Lexmark will be about $130 million pre-tax, of which $80 million is cash, said the company. Lexmark expects to save $80 million annually Full-year revenue dipped 2 percent, to $5.2 billion, from $5.3 billion in 2004, while net income for the 12 months slid to $356.3 million, down from $568.7 million in 2004.

Imation Grows Revenue 8.6% In Q4, Earnings Move Into The Black
Oakdale, Minn. — Propelled by strong data storage markets in the America, magnetic and optical removable data storage media provider Imation, reported an 8.6 percent increase in fourth quarter revenue, hitting $343 million, up from $315.8 million in the year-ago period. The company, which is in the process of acquiring Memorex International, recorded net income of $18.4 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $7.9 million year-on-year when Imation recorded $22.1 million in restructuring charges. Gross margin in the quarter was 21.6 percent, down from 22.7 percent in the same period last year, due mainly to a greater portion of optical, mid-range tape and flash products in the product mix. Expenses were down 3.2 percent. Both the quarter and full-year results reflect sales growth in optical products, flash media and certain tape cartridge formats. Volume growth of 18 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the same three months in 2004, was offset by price declines of 8 percent and negative currency impact of 1 percent. For the 12 months, revenue increased 7.2 percent, hitting $1.3 billion, up from $1.2 billion the prior year. Net income for the 12 months rose to $87.9 million, compared with $29.9 million in 2004.

Plantronics Headset Group Biz Rises 7% In Fis. Q3
Santa Cruz, Calif. — The Audio Communications Group at headset maker Plantronics posted revenue of $161.5 million in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, up 7 percent from the $150.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income for the group was $19.5 million, down from a year-ago $24.4 million. Gross margin for the group was 46.4 percent, down from 50.1 percent a year ago, due mainly to higher manufacturing costs as a result of expanding capacity for anticipated future growth. Higher warranty costs and larger provision for excess and obsolete inventory were other key factors for lower margins. On the strength of its new Bluetooth consumer headset line, revenue from Bluetooth headsets for cellphone applications was up sharply in the company’s fiscal third quarter vs. the year-ago three months. Revenue from corded mobile headsets was down, resulting in lower overall revenue from mobile headsets in comparison to the third quarter the previous year. Plantronics said its gaming and computer product revenue was down in comparison to the all-time high reached in the third quarter the prior year. Consolidated third quarter revenue reached $222.5 million, up from $150.6 million year-on-year. Net income, however, slid to $22 million, down from $24.4 million in the prior-year third quarter. Revenue from Plantronics’ Audio Entertainment Group, namely new purchase Altec Lansing, accounted for $61 million of consolidated revenue in the quarter. Net income for this group reached $2.6 million.

Harman International Sales Climb 6%, Oper. Income Up 16%
Washington — Audio products and electronic systems maker for the automotive and consumer markets Harman International pumped sales 6 percent in its fiscal second quarter, hitting $832.6 million, up from $788.6 million in the year-ago three months. Operating income for the quarter, ended Dec. 31, reached $115.9 million, 16 percent higher than the $99.5 million recorded year-on-year. Net income was $72.5 million in the quarter, compared with $65.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Harman’s automotive business rose 2 percent in the quarter, to $547.6 million, while consumer sales increased 22 percent, to $155 million. For the 6 months, consolidated sales rose to $1.6 billion, from $1.5 billion, while operating income climbed to $194.1 million, from $161.4 million. Net income for the first half jumped to $126.5 million, from $99.1 million year-over-year.

Logitech Sales Increase 19% In Fis. Q3, Net Income Climbs 11%
Fremont, Calif. — Computer mouse and keyboard and other peripheral PC gadgets maker Logitech International reported a 19 percent rise in fiscal third quarter sales, reaching $573.9 million, up from $483.8 million, driven by strong demand for audio, video and remote-control products. Operating income at the Zurich, Switzerland-headquartered company rose 10 percent in the three months, ended Dec. 31, coming in at $80.7 million, compared with a year-ago $73.6 million. Net income in the quarter hit $71.3 million, a rise of 11 percent over the $64.2 million posted the previous year. Retail sales growth was 26 percent in the Americas, with the company reporting it was “riding the wave of key consumer trends” — namely the popularity of digital music, the pervasiveness of broadband connectivity and the evolving role of the PC as an entertainment and communication platform. Cordless, the company’s largest product family, dipped to $148.3 million in sales for the third quarter, down from a year-ago $158.6 million. Audio sales more than doubled in the three months, to $117.6 million, from $51.4 million. Video sales climbed to $82.4 million, from $57.3 million. For the nine months, Logitech sales hit $1.3 billion, up from a year-on-year $1.1 billion. Net income for the nine months reached $130 million, compared with $109 million in the same period in 2004.

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