W.R. Grace estimates lower profit as customers delay purchases

Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:39am EDT

(Reuters) - Chemicals maker W.R. Grace & Co (GRA.N) estimated quarterly earnings below analysts' expectations and lowered full-year profit forecast after some customers reduced their inventory and some others delayed purchases.

The company said it expected to earn $52 million to $53 million, or 68 cents to 69 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31.

After adjustments, it expected earnings of 80 cents to 81 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 88 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

W.R. Grace said delayed and canceled orders from nine of its large customers would have trimmed $12 million from first-quarter earnings at its largest unit that caters to refineries.

The business accounted for over 40 percent of the company's net sales in 2012.

The company also suffered a loss of $8 million after a change in the official exchange rate of bolivar to U.S. dollar.

W.R. Grace lowered its full-year forecast of adjusted EBITDA to $665 million-$685 million, from $685 million-$705 million.

It will report first-quarter results on April 24.

The Columbia, Maryland-based company's shares closed at $75.95 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article