CHICAGO - Shares in Sara Lee Corp. tumbled 10 percent Thursday after the consumer goods giant reported worse-than-expected results and forecast weaker sales and lower earnings for the current quarter. The pessimistic sales news and profit warning came even as Sara Lee posted a 5 percent increase in third-quarter net profits. CEO C. Steven McMillan said underperforming brands need to be fixed or eliminated and announced the elimination of 58 regional bread brands and four more plant closings. Net income was $269 million, or 33 cents a share.
LAKE FOREST - Brunswick Corp. Thursday reported higher quarterly earnings on stronger sales of marine engines, boats and fitness gear. It also gave a full-year earnings outlook that was in line with analysts' consensus forecast. Brunswick reported a first- quarter net profit of $19.8 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with $13.2 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.
LAKE FOREST - CNH Global NV, the second-biggest maker of tractors and combines, said its first-quarter loss narrowed because costs fell. The net loss shrank to $46 million, or 35 cents a share, from $374 million, or $6.75 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. CNH expects 2003 sales in North America and Latin America to fall, making this year the sixth straight that sales of farm equipment will have dropped. It expects total restructuring costs this year of about $325 million before taxes, including $190 million to shut a plant in East Moline. It expects medical and pension costs to increase by $90 million this year.
LAKE FOREST - Pactiv Corp. posted first-quarter profit of $44 million, or 27 cents a share, vs. a net loss of $30 million, or 19 cents a share, the same quarter a year ago. Sales increased to $717 million from $647 million on volume growth in the company's food packaging products.
LAKE FOREST - IMC Global Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net loss was $39.6 million, or 32 cents a share, vs. earnings of $4.8 million, or 4 cents a share, the same quarter a year ago. …