Tuesday, August 5, 2003

What's the Buzz?

Milacron shares hit all-time low

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Shares of Milacron Inc. closed Monday at $3.01, off 66 cents, or 18 percent.

The new all-time low for the maker of plastic molding machinery and industrial fluids comes less than a week after it disclosed second-quarter losses and announced a new round of cost-cutting including suspension of its second-quarter common and preferred dividends.

Monday an analyst with FTN MidWest Research cut his opinion on Milacron from "neutral" to "sell,'' citing competitive pressure and concerns over debt refinancing.

Last Tuesday, Milacron reported a second-quarter loss of $91.3 million, or $2.72 a share, compared with a loss last year of $31.1 million, or 93 cents a share.

The latest quarter includes a $72.2 million non-cash charge against its U.S. deferred tax assets. The charge is required by accounting rules when a company has three years of cumulative tax losses, the company said.

Besides suspending the dividend, the company said it planned to cut about 300 jobs from its global employment of 3,800 by year-end.

The company, which has lost money for the last two years, said about 100 of the cuts would be from its Batavia-based plastics technology center and Cincinnati corporate office, where it employs a total of 1,000.

The company said the moves were designed to save $20 million annually and help return the company to profitability by the end of the year.

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What's the Buzz?