GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Mills said it expects first-quarter net income to drop below a year ago and below analysts’ estimates, as well.
Earnings for the three months will be in the range of 18 cents to 24 cents per primary share, the firm said. In the year-earlier first quarter ended Jan. 1, Guilford earned $6.1 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $182.5 million.
Analysts, Guilford said, had been estimating 35 to 42 cents for the current quarter. Results are slated to be released on Jan. 22.
Charles A. Hayes, chairman and chief executive office, saidsales in the quarter have been slightly below the strong sales of a year ago, but margins have been hurt by raw material costs and non-recurring expenses. The firm’s automotive textile operations were adversely affected by certain startup costs, he added.
For all of 1996, Hayes expects earnings to top last year’s record $2.41 per primary share due in part to the purchase of Hofmann Laces, to close in early January.

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