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Matthews Int'l Q1 Profit Declines - Update

Casket maker Matthews International Corp. (MATW), Thursday reported a lower first-quarter profit despite higher revenues, as expenses increased and investment income declined. Earnings for the quarter missed analysts' estimates by a penny, while revenues surpassed expectations.

Moving ahead, the company confirmed its earnings guidance for the full year 2013.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Joseph Bartolacci said, "The decline in adjusted non-GAAP earnings primarily reflected higher interest costs (due to increased borrowings for acquisitions and share repurchases over the past twelve months) and lower investment income during the current quarter."

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company's profit for the quarter dropped to $8.3 million or $0.30 per share from $11.3 million or $0.40 per share last year.

Adjusted earnings dropped to $0.42 per share from $0.47 per share a year ago. On average, three analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.43 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Sales for the quarter grew 3.9 percent to $225.6 million from $217.2 million last year. Four analysts expected revenues of $220.48 million for the quarter.

Selling and administrative expenses for the quarter increased to $63.5 million from $59.1 million last year. Other deductions rose to $4.1 million from $1.5 million last year.

Going forward, the company confirmed its full-year 2013 adjusted earnings guidance of $2.45 to $2.55 per share. Analysts now expect fiscal year 2013 earnings of $2.49 per share.

Further, the company declared a dividend of $0.10 per share, payable February 11 to stockholders of record January 28.

MATW closed Thursday's trading at $33.64, up 2.53%, on the Nasdaq.

by RTT Staff Writer

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