March 17, 2010 / 9:11 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Herman Miller Q3 misses Street view

* Q3 EPS $0.12 vs year-ago loss $0.10/shr

* New orders up 3.8 percent

* Shares down 5 pct after market (Adds comparison to analyst estimates, share movement)

March 17 (Reuters) - Office furniture maker Herman Miller Inc (MLHR.O) posted a third-quarter profit that missed analyst expectations, but said new orders improved after five consecutive quarters of decline.

New orders in the quarter were $290 million, 3.8 percent higher from a year-ago period.

“While overall industry conditions remain challenging, this serves as a measurable signal that business conditions have stopped deteriorating,” said Brian Walker, chief executive officer of the company.

Demand for office furniture has taken a hit due to high office vacancies and corporate downsizing as firms cut costs to weather the downturn.

For the third quarter, the company’s net income was $8.3 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $5.2 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago.

    Excluding items, it earned 15 cents a share.

    Revenue fell 7 percent to $329.6 million.

    Analysts were expecting earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $334.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    Margins improved 190 basis points to 31.8 percent during the period.

    Shares of the company were trading at $19.05 after the bell. They closed at $20.07 Wednesday on Nasdaq. They have risen about 13 percent in the last one month. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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