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Herman Miller posts 2Q loss on pension costs

The Associated Press

NEWS: Herman Miller Inc. said Wednesday that it moved to a loss for its fiscal second quarter as pension costs outweighed the benefit of stronger sales for the furniture maker, but its adjusted results beat market expectations for the period.

DETAILS: During the quarter, the company completed its previously announced termination of its domestic defined benefit pension plans. This led to pension expenses in the second quarter of $161.3 million. Its sales, however, improved, helped by a nearly 6 percent increase in new orders.

NUMBERS: Herman Miller posted a loss of $80.6 million, or $1.37 per share, for the quarter ended Nov. 30 versus net income of $8.4 million, or 14 cents per share, last year. Excluding pension costs, restructuring and impairment charges, it earned 42 cents per share versus 35 cents per share last year. Its revenue increased 6.5 percent to $470.5 million from $41.8 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating adjusted earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $467 million.

FUTURE: The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 12 percent to 14 cents per share, which is payable in April. That's up from its most recent dividend payment of 12.5 cents.

Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said that a tough market weighed on the first half of its year but the company remains confident in the long-term outlook of the business.

STOCK: Shares increased 21 cents to close regular trading at $29.19 but dipped 31 cents in after-hours trading following the report.