June 11, 2007
ACL lowers earnings guidance
American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI) announced today that it is lowering its earnings guidance for the year ending December 31, 2007 to $1.45 to $1.65 in earnings per share for 2007 versus the current street consensus of $1.84. The company's previous guidance for 2007 was $1.75 to $1.95. ACL said the lowered guidance "is driven primarily by the further weakness in the spot grain markets over first quarter levels and lower than planned productivity levels in the manufacturing segment during the second quarter."
Mark R. Holden, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated "While our revised guidance still represents a very strong year for the company, it also reaffirms our organic growth strategy of shifting more of our commodity mix away from volatile and seasonal spot grain commodities toward more ratable, predictable commodities, including liquids and coal. Additionally, while the results of our manufacturing business will show improvement over first quarter levels, its progress is taking longer than scheduled. As a result, the company now expects manufacturing results to approximate $30 to $40 million of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) compared to its previous expectations of $45 to $55 million of EBITDA. Given these factors, we expect the Company's 2007 second quarter results to look similar to the first quarter."
Additionally, ACL announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program of up to $200 million. Commenting on the stock repurchase program, Christopher A. Black, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, stated "We believe the purchase of ACL stock is an attractive investment and, at a $200 million level, maintains a well-capitalized balance sheet that will continue to allow us to fund the future growth of the company. The revised 2007 earnings per share guidance does not include the effect of repurchased shares."