Lexington-based printer maker Lexmark International announced Tuesday that its second-quarter profit fell 80 percent year-over-year as the company's results were dragged down by expenses related to a plant closing and work-force restructurings announced earlier this year.
Earnings per share for the quarter were 22 cents. Without the restructuring charges, earnings would have been 55 cents a share.
Revenue was down 21 percent in the quarter compared with a year earlier, and earnings came in below the expectations of analysts.
Shares of the company's stock (NYSE:LXK) hit a 52-week low during trading but closed slightly above that, at $15.08. Shares were down 20 percent, or $3.69, for the day.
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Chief executive Paul Curlander told analysts during a conference call Tuesday morning that the company's results "are clearly not where we'd like them to be," but that the global recession has dragged down demand for its printers, ink and toner.
The company saw the number of unit shipments of laser printers fall 21 percent, while inkjet printer shipments fell 43 percent, continuing that division's weakness.
The recession comes as Lexmark continues to make a strategic shift with the inkjet division, a shift that has come with its own earnings issues. Since 2006, Lexmark has walked away from 20 percent, and then 30 percent more, of its inkjet printer sales in an attempt to get away from people who don't print enough.
The company is targeting consumers who print more, particularly small and medium businesses, and is on the verge of debuting a new series of inkjet printers with new technologies in September.
Those printers, an analyst said, could represent the turning point where Lexmark's weakened earnings of the recent past begin to reverse.
If the new printers are well-received, the company could begin seeing revenue figures jump later this year compared with previous quarters, said Tom Carpenter, vice president and senior equity analyst at Hilliard Lyons in Louisville.
He said a key indicator will be whether employees at office superstores and consumer electronics chains where Lexmark gained more shelf space earlier this year are recommending its printers.
"If the perception has changed and they're willing to recommend those printers instead of HP, Canon and Epson, then the company might be able to turn around inkjet," Carpenter said. "They've done a good job on the product side, and now they need to take it to another level and convince employees at the stores that their products are better."
Lexmark's chief financial officer, John Gamble Jr., said the company is not seeing a turn in the marketplace that might boost its performance.
"In terms of specific clear signs that a recovery is occurring ... we haven't seen them yet," he said.
He noted that the company saw some good performance in the United States for its laser and inkjet printers, but "in terms of overall performance, that turn, we just haven't seen it yet.
"We're working hard to make sure that we're prepared for it when it happens."