Titanium producer expecting tough year

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Titanium producer expecting tough year

Shares of RTI International Metals slid 11 percent yesterday in heavy trading after the Moon titanium producer reported a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss and painted a dreary picture of prospects for 2010.

The company lost $8.7 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, on sales of $100.2 million, citing lower shipments and prices for titanium mill products, continuing weak demand from the commercial aerospace industry and a slowdown in the energy market. The results reflect a $5.7 million charge for paying down debt.

The adjusted loss per share was 20 cents vs. analyst forecasts of a 3 cent loss.

In the year-ago quarter, RTI earned $11.3 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, on sales of $150.6 million.

“We still have not seen a pickup in demand, nor do I expect to see demand improve until the end of 2010 at the earliest,” Vice Chairman, President and CEO Dawne S. Hickton said.

“The production delays associated with the [Boeing] 787 Dreamliner continue to stress our company.”

During a conference call with analysts, Ms. Hickton said the company continued to focus on reducing costs as it rides out the recession. RTI has reduced annualized costs by about $35 million so far this year, she said.

RTI shares traded as low as $17.89 yesterday before closing at $18.67, down $2.31. More than 2.1 million shares were traded, three times the daily average over the last three months.

The stock is up 30 percent this year.

Source: Post Gazette

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