Slowdown, U.S. problems prompt Philips profit warning
By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Philips warned on Tuesday that fourth-quarter earnings would be worse than expected because of the lengthy closure of a manufacturing plant in Cleveland, Ohio and a slowdown in some of its major markets.
The latest profit warning from the Dutch industrial company comes after its stock underperformed benchmarks and Chief Executive Frans van Houten announced plans last year to break up the company, splitting off its lighting business.
Philips, which plans to focus on its higher margin healthcare division, said a weak fourth quarter will also reflect "ongoing softness in certain markets and stronger-than-anticipated foreign exchange headwinds in emerging markets."
Philips, due to publish results on Jan. 27, now expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxation and amortization (EBITA) of 735 million euros ($870 million) for the quarter.
Company-published analyst consensus estimates had been 795 million euros, versus 915 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Philips shares were down 1.85 percent to 23.34 euros by 1345 GMT, after falling 3 percent in morning trade.
Philips' stock has fallen 15 percent over the past year, a period in which the S&P 500 rose more than 11 percent.