January 29, 2008 / 11:50 AM / 12 years ago

Lexmark profit beats expectation

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Printer maker Lexmark International Inc LXK.N reported on Tuesday a higher quarterly net profit and predicted better-than-expected first quarter earnings, sending shares up more than 10 percent.

The company, whose competitors include Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and Canon Inc (7751.T), reported fourth-quarter net income of $99.0 million, or $1.04 a share, versus $89.9 million, or 91 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, Lexmark posted a fourth quarter profit of $1.29, handily beating Wall Street estimates of 58 cents per share, according to Reuters Research.

Quarterly revenue at the Lexington, Kentucky, company, fell to $1.31 billion from $1.37 billion.

It forecast first-quarter earnings to be in the range of 66 cents to 76 cents per share.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company said it expects a first-quarter profit per share in the range of 80 cents to 90 cents, ahead of Wall Street estimates of 78 cents.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando and Kenneth Li

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