AptarGroup sales miss on lower European demand, sees weak 3rd qtr

Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:46pm EDT

* Sees Q3 EPS $0.61-$0.66 vs est $0.71

* Q2 sales down 6 pct to $577.5 mln vs est $589.5 mln

July 26 (Reuters) - Packaging products maker AptarGroup Inc posted lower quarterly sales that missed analysts' estimates as weakness in Europe dragged down demand and the company forecast a weak third-quarter profit.

The company expects to record a profit of 61 to 66 cents per share in the third quarter. Analysts were looking for a profit of 71 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"We currently expect the softness in Europe and the challenging currency exchange rate environment to continue into the third quarter," Chief Executive Stephen Hagge said in a statement.

The company said it is seeing continued caution on the part of its customers in Europe.

AptarGroup, which competes with Silgan Holdings Inc , Ball Corp and Crown Holdings Inc, said a weak euro negatively impacted sales by about 8 percent in the quarter. The euro fell 5.2 percent against the dollar in the quarter.

European business accounts for about 57 percent of the company's total sales.

Net income during the second quarter fell to $41.7 million, or 61 cents per share, from $51.3 million, or 74 cents per share, a year ago.

Sales were down about 6 percent at $577.5 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 61 cents per share on revenue of $589.5 million.

Shares of the Crystal Lake, Illinois based company closed at $49.81 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.