Exide shares plunge after co. loses major business from Wal-Mart; 3rd-qtr results miss Street

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Exide loses Wal-Mart business; shares plunge

MILTON, Ga. — Shares of Exide Technologies plunged on Wednesday after the company announced it lost Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as a customer for its automotive batteries in the U.S.

Exide also announced its profit and revenue fell in its fiscal third quarter.

Shares lost $1.84, or 23.2 percent, to close at $6.08.

Exide said it was recently informed that the world’s largest retailer will use a different supplier for automotive batteries for its U.S. retail operations. Sales to Wal-Mart represent a “significant portion” of the company’s transportation Americas sales, Exide noted. The company expects the order phase-outs will continue into the third quarter of fiscal 2011.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Exide’s profit fell to $9.8 million, or 12 cents per share, from $15.4 million, or 20 cents per share, during the same period the year before.

Excluding restructuring charges and other special items, adjusted earnings in the latest quarter amounted to $18.2 million, or 23 cents per share.

Revenue fell 37 percent to $746.5 million from $782.6 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 16 cents per share on revenue of $684 million. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Exide shares have ranged from $1.83 to $8.87 over the past year.

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