UPDATE 2-Knoll Q2 results beat Street; shares rise

Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:08am EDT

* Q2 EPS $0.19 vs $0.18 a year ago

* Sales down 5 pct

* Says better-than-expected shipments in Q2

* Shares up 6 pct

(Adds conference call details; share movement)

July 16 (Reuters) - Office furniture maker Knoll Inc (KNL.N) posted quarterly results that topped analysts' estimates, helped by better-than-expected shipments, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent.

The company said new products including its Generation by Knoll work chair drove shipments in the quarter, and that order momentum would increase through the rest of the year.

Industry orders are growing through sluggish job growth and moderating vacancy rates, Chief Executive Andrew Cogan said on a conference call with analysts.

"The company is seeing normalization of demand from post-crisis lows."

Knoll, along with peers such as Steelcase Inc (SCS.N) and Herman Miller (MLHR.O), had been hit by weak demand, high office vacancies and corporate downsizing, resulting from the weak economy.

For the second quarter, net income was $8.7 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $8.1 million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company earned 22 cents a share.

Sales fell 5 percent to $192.3 million.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 11 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $177.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company were up 2.5 percent at $13.14 Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal and Vyas Mohan)

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