* Q3 loss C$0.08/shr vs. loss/shr est. C$0.13
* Rev down 41.5 pct
* Says outlook of rest of the year negative
* Says return to profitability not expected until 2010
Oct 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s Samuel Manu-Tech Inc (SMT.TO) posted a narrower-than-expected third quarter loss helped by cost reduction initiatives and increased demand from the automotive market.
However, the packaging and metal processing company said its outlook for the balance of the year remains negative, with a return to profitability not expected until next year.
For the third quarter, the company reported a net loss of C$2.4 million ($2.26 million), or 8 Canadian cents a share, compared with net income of C$22.4 million, or 70 Canadian cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Net sales declined 41.5 percent to C$155.3 million due to lower volumes and selling prices.
Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 13 Canadian cents on revenue of C$151.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
In addition, the company said no material improvement in overall market demand in the North American economy is anticipated until late 2010.
Samuel Manu-Tech shares, which have lost more than 7 percent of their value in the past month, closed Wednesday at C$4.37 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=1.064 Canadian Dollar Reporting by Krishna Chaithanya in Bangalore; Editing by Hezron Selvi