Acco Brands cuts 2012 forecast, shares plunge

Thu Aug 9, 2012 11:37am EDT

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(Reuters) - Office products maker Acco Brands Corp (ACCO.N) cut its 2012 forecast due to a fall in demand in Europe, sending its shares down as much as 14 percent.

Acco Brands lowered its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to between 82 and 85 cents per share from $1.06 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting $1.00 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The stock was one of the biggest percentage losers on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

The company also cut its full-year sales estimate to between $1.90 billion and $1.95 billion. It had earlier forecast sales to be flat over 2011 levels at about $2.06 billion. The new forecast is also below analysts' average estimate of $2.00 billion.

Acco makes computer-related office products, supplies and laminating and binding equipment for markets in North America, Europe and Australia.

"Two-thirds of the reduction in the sales guidance is due to the further softening in Europe," Chief Executive Robert Keller told analysts on a conference call.

For the second quarter, net income from continuing operations rose to $94.2 million, or 98 cents per share from $6.3 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 26 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 20 cents per share.

Revenue rose 33 percent to $438.7 million, helped by its acquisition of MeadWestvaco Corp's (MWV.N) consumer and office products business, but still missed estimates of $468.3 million.

Acco International, which accounts for the company's business in Europe and Australia, reported a 7 percent decline in net sales on planned exits of low margin products and weak demand.

The company walked away from about $40 million of revenue in Europe during the quarter, Keller said.

Shares of the Lincolnshire, Illinois-based company, which have fallen about 40 percent in the last four months, were trading down 12 percent at $7.75 at midday on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Kartick Jagtap in Bangalore, ; Editing by Maju Samuel, Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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