Weak economy in Europe hurts Owens-Illinois

PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) -- The weak economy in Europe hurt quarterly results at Owens-Illinois Inc., but analysts had expected even worse, and the company's shares rose 4 percent in aftermarket trading.

The company, which makes glass containers for beer, liquor and other beverages, was able to raise prices, but global shipments dropped and scaled-back production in Europe drove up costs for manufacturing and delivery.

For this year, the Perrysburg, Ohio, company said emerging markets will keep helping growth, while Europe remains troubled. It hopes for a modest increase in volumes and higher prices that keep pace with higher materials costs, while it tries to trim its spending.

Owens-Illinois' loss narrowed to $160 million, or 97 cents per share, in the three months through Dec. 31. That's compared with $771 million, or $4.69 per share, in the fourth quarter the year before. That quarter was dented by a $640 million charge writing down the value of assets in Asia.

Stripping out such one-time items, profit came to 40 cents per share, down from 48 cents the year before. Analysts expected still lower profit of 37 cents, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $1.75 billion from $1.82 billion as volumes dropped 7 percent, with the biggest decline in Europe. Wall Street predicted $1.74 billion.

Looking forward, the company predicted adjusted profit of $2.60 to $3 per share for 2013, in line with analysts' expectation of $2.81 per share.

The stock rose 98 cents to $23.74 in after-market trading. They had closed up 7 cents to $22.76 in the regular trading day. Through Wednesday's close, the shares have bounced back 16 percent in the past three months, but are still down 7 percent for the last 52 weeks.

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