* Q3 adj EPS $0.06 vs est. $0.19
* Q3 rev $228.9 mln vs est. $220.9 mln
* Cuts FY EPS outlook to $0.24-0.45
* Slashes rev forecast to $850-$950 mln
* Shares at 9-year low
By Abhishek Takle
Nov 4 Central European Distribution Corp
slashed its outlook for a second time this year and
failed to outline plans to pay back debt, sparking a sell-off in
the Polish vodka maker's stock that wiped out nearly a third of
its market value.
The maker of Absolwent and Parliament vodka faces rising
costs of spirits, weak sales volumes in Russia and has spent
heavily on advertising to stem declines in its market share,
denting its profits.
The company, which ended September with $111.2 million in
cash, down from $122.3 million at the start of the year, has to
meet debt payments of more than $300 million in 2013, sparking
concerns over a lack of a plan to pay off maturing debt.
The company has come under pressure from Mark Kaufman, its
top shareholder with a near-10 percent stake, who in September
wrote to the company seeking a meeting with the board to discuss
On Friday, Kaufman listened to the company's post-earnings
conference call with analysts, but his representative declined
"The idea was that most of the shareholders wanted to wait
until the third-quarter announcement to give the company a
chance to prove that past poor performance was only bad luck," a
person familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The source said he was unsure if the company had a plan to
pay back the debt maturing in 2013.
"At first glance, it's disappointing of course ... but we
need to do more analysis. We really start to wonder if there's a
Excluding its losses on Friday, CEDC's stock has shed more
than three-quarters of its value this year, leading to
speculation it may be bought out.
In September, Russian business daily Kommersant said
billionaire Vasiliy Anisimov may swap his spirits assets for a
20 percent stake in CEDC to create a company controlling nearly
a third of the Russian vodka market.
However, in a note last week Renaissance Capital analysts
Natasha Zagvozdina and Roman Ivashko said the adoption of a
poison pill, higher compensation for management and a spate of
lawsuits could make a takeover more expensive.
The company now expects to earn 25-45 cents a share on
revenue of $850-$950 million, down from its prior view of
earnings of 80 cents to $1 a share on sales of $900 million to
July-September adjusted profit came in at 6 cents
a share, missing analysts' estimates of 19 cents a share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales rose 45 percent to $228.9 million, beating
expectations of $220.9 million.
The company's shares were down 29 percent at $3.53, their
lowest in nearly a decade, on Friday on Nasdaq.