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Nordson shares tumble after earnings report

Shares of Nordson Corp., a manufacturer of precision dispensing and testing equipment, plummeted Friday after a disappointing fiscal third quarter and below-consensus earnings guidance, and after a Wall Street analyst cut his rating on the stock.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Shares of Nordson Corp., a manufacturer of precision dispensing and testing equipment, plummeted Friday after a disappointing fiscal third quarter and below-consensus earnings guidance, and after a Wall Street analyst cut his rating on the stock.

For the period ended July 31, Nordson posted profit of $32.4 million, or 93 cents per share, compared with profit of $24.5 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-ago period, the Westlake, Ohio-based company said Thursday.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $288.4 million from $257.7 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, earnings of 98 cents per share on revenue of $298.4 million.

For the August-through-October period, Nordson expects earnings in the range of 84 cents to 94 cents per share. Analysts expect earnings of $1.05 per share.

KeyBanc analyst Matt J. Summerville on Friday cut his rating on the shares to "Hold" from "Buy" and lowered his 2008 earnings per share outlook to $3.41 from $3.60. Wall Street expects $3.57 per share.

The analyst said Nordson's industrial revenue had "degraded at a much faster rate than we ever would have anticipated." He also called sequential sales growth in the company's advanced tech business "underwhelming" and called for restructuring.

Further, Summerville said the company may face credibility issues on account of its downward revision to earnings guidance.

A Nordson official was not immediately available to offer a response.

Shares fell $17.61, or 24.5 percent, to $54.16 in afternoon trading.