By Liz White, UT editor
Rogers, Connecticut-Rogers Corp. has revised its sales and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter of 2006, blaming lowered earnings predictions partly on slow demand in the mobile phone infrastrucure business.
But Robert Wachob, president and ceo, said in the company's guidance statement that this "soft fourth quarter was a temporary event," and "consumer expectations for high-speed mobile connectivity" will continue to drive investment in infrastructure
While the speciality plastic products group still expects Q4 net sales of about $122 million, within the range it predicted on 26 Oct 2006, Rogers now says earnings for the fourth quarter are projected to be $0.68 to $0.72 per diluted share. Previous guidance was for higher earnings, of $0.90 to $0.93 per diluted share.
Explaining this, Wachob commented, "While sales came in at the low end of our projected range for the fourth quarter, a series of one-time events negatively impacted our operating margins."
A "significant quality issue" now resolved, in Rogers' Printed Circuit Materials business was part of this, as was an unfavourable product mix in this business, partly from "much softer than expected" sales into cellular phone infrastructure, the Rogers' boss noted in a company statement.
He did note that Rogers' circuit materials are "used in virtually every mobile communication system worldwide, and our leading position in this market is well protected."
Sales in High Performance Foams were strong, said Wachob. Here the group built inventory in Q3 against a possible Q4 work stoppage. A new union contract meant that Rogers could reduce inventory levels in Q4, he added.
Rogers' polyolefin foam operation suffered "a significant reduction in both volume and pricing, resulting in a loss for the quarter," Wachob said.
Despite the lower Q4 earnings, Wachob said, Rogers expects full year diluted earnings per share of at least $2.64 and net sales of $454 million-"both all-time records exceeding 2005 by 169 percent and 28 percent, respectively.
The Rogers-headquartered group makes high-performance products using speciality materials-including cellular polyurethane-for diverse markets including: portable communication devices, communication infrastructure, consumer products, computer and office equipment, ground transport, and aerospace and defence.
Rogers has plants in Connecticut, Arizona, and Illinois in the US, and in Gent, Belgium, Suzhou, China, and Hwasung City, Korea."