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Diebold Posts Q4 Loss - Update

ATM maker Diebold Inc. (DBD), Tuesday reported a swing to loss in the fourth quarter from a profit last year, hurt mainly by lower sales and charges related to pension buyout and a federal probe.

North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold's loss for the fourth quarter was $10.65 million or $0.17 per share, compared to a profit of $79.76 million or $1.26 per share last year.

For the first quarter, the company recorded a charge of $21.9 million related to early buyout payments made to certain eligible pension participants. The company also set aside $18.0 million for the eventual resolution of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $0.45 per share, down from $1.40 per share last year.

On average, seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.48 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Diebold is one of the largest makers of ATM machines, and also makes security products such as vaults, alarms, and safes. Diebold sales for the quarter dropped to $840.1 million from $849.99 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenues of $845.61 million for the quarter.

Diebold said the decline ins were due to a drop in Brazil voting revenue and a net negative currency impact of more than 2 percent, which offset a growth in EMEA and security.

Financial self-service segment revenues decreased 1.5 percent,while security solutions revenues grew 11.4 percent. Brazil election systems & lottery unit's revenue slipped 50.4 percent. Geographically, revenues dropped in all regions, except Europe, Middle East and Africa where it rose 9.2 percent.

Gross margins for the quarter dropped to 22.8 percent from 26.9 percent last year.

Looking forward to 2013, the company continues to expect adjusted earnings to be flat to down moderately on relatively flat revenues.

The company expects its first quarter to be weak and well below last year, which benefited from strong regional bank demand.

Henry Wallace, Diebold executive chairman, said, "The 2012 results and the present outlook for 2013 are disappointing, and we need to improve."

DBD is currently trading at $29.84, down $0.25 or 0.83%, on the NYSE.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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