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Briggs & Stratton cuts its full-year forecasts

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Briggs & Stratton Corp. lowered its fiscal full-year adjusted earnings and revenue forecasts on Friday as retail sales have dropped partly because of a slow start to the spring lawn and garden season.

Shares dropped in midday trading.

The company, which makes gas engines for outdoor power equipment, said that since retail sales dropped in the spring, many mass retailers, dealers and original equipment manufacturers have been slow to reorder products for the current season.

Briggs & Stratton now foresees adjusted earnings between 88 cents and 92 cents per share on revenue of about $1.86 billion. The prior outlook called for adjusted earnings of $1.16 to $1.33 per share on revenue in a range of $1.95 billion to $2 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict 2013 earnings of $1.12 per share on revenue of $1.94 billion.

The company's stock declined $1.59, or 7.5 percent, to $19.66. Over the past year, the shares have traded between $16.20 and $25.52.

For the fourth quarter, Briggs & Stratton anticipates adjusted earnings of about 17 cents to 21 cents per share on revenue of approximately $475 million. Wall Street is looking for earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $557.8 million.

The company said that weak conditions persist in Europe and that it reduced production levels as original equipment manufacturers take a more cautious approach to managing inventory.

Briggs & Stratton expects fiscal 2014 to improve on a stronger U.S. lawn and garden market and reduced inventories, as well as ongoing efforts to expand in certain overseas markets. The Milwaukee company remains cautious on Europe.