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Ferro boosts 1Q, 2013 profit predictions

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ferro Corp. on Tuesday boosted its first-quarter earnings guidance, citing better-than-expected results from its cost-cutting efforts.

The Cleveland-based specialty chemicals maker said it now expects to post an adjusted profit of 5 cents to 7 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, up from its previous prediction of 2 cents to 5 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expect adjusted earnings of 4 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Ferro said that based on current market conditions, combined with the expected timing of certain cost-cutting moves, it still expects the first quarter to account for its lowest profit of 2013.

Ferro also boosted its full-year adjusted profit prediction to a range of 30 cents to 35 cents per share. It previously projected a profit of 25 cents to 30 cents per share. Analysts expect earnings of 29 cents per share.

The company said the changes are based on its preliminary first-quarter results and the progress made so far on its cost-saving and value-creation initiatives. The company said it now expects its cost savings to total $30 million in 2013 and rise to $70 million in 2014.

For 2015, Ferro said it now expects an adjusted profit of 90 cents to $1 per share, up from its previous range of 75 cents to 85 cents per share. Analysts expect earnings of 63 cents per share.

Ferro shares fell 5 cents to $6.71 in morning trading. They are near the high end of their 52-week range of $2.38 to $6.99.