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Schulman's 3rd-quarter net income falls 69 percent

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Plastic compounds and resins supplier A. Schulman Inc. said Monday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings sank 69 percent from a year earlier, hurt by declining sales amid growing economic uncertainty in Europe.

The Akron, Ohio, company also lowered its outlook for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31. It now expects adjusted earnings per share to range from $1.70 to $1.80. That's down from a previous range of $2.08 to $2.13, and below the $2.01 per share analysts expected, on average, according to FactSet.

Joseph Gingo, A. Schulman's chairman, president and CEO, said the company continues to face inconsistent order patterns in its European markets. He noted that business at the company's Americas and Asia Pacific segments failed to offset the impact of the weaker European sales in the third quarter.

The company reported net income of $5.2 million, or 18 cents per share, for the three months ended May 31. That compares with net income of $17 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of discontinued operations, the company's earnings amounted to 50 cents per share.

Even so, the latest results fell short of the adjusted earnings of 65 cents per share analysts had forecast, on average.

Quarterly revenue fell nearly 3 percent to $548.6 million from $563.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

To cope with its business challenges, management is cutting jobs and consolidating some manufacturing facilities in an effort to streamline its operations.

It expects to recognize roughly $1 million in charges related to restructuring costs and accelerated depreciation during its fiscal fourth quarter and the first half of fiscal 2014.

Shares of the company ended regular trading up $1.01, or 3.8 percent, at $27.83. Its stock is down 3.8 percent this year.