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Myers boosts dividend, to buy back shares

By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer

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Myers Industries Inc. is increasing its dividend and buying back more shares as the Akron manufacturer anticipates better profits ahead.

The company, a rubber and plastic products maker and specialty tool distributor, on Thursday reported a softer fourth quarter but higher 2013 revenue results compared to a year ago.

Shares of Myers rose 68 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $20.08, even though quarterly earnings and revenue missed analyst estimates.

Myers announced it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 44 percent, from 9 cents to 13 cents, and has authorized buying back $40 million in stock this year. The dividend increase is payable April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 10. Myers increased its dividend last year by 12.5 percent.

The polymer company reported net income of $3.3 million, or 10 cents per share, on revenue of $211.3 million. That compares to net income of $8.5 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenue of $214 million a year ago.

When adjusted for one-time factors, Myers Industries said it had fourth-quarter net income of nearly $8.8 million, down 1.7 percent from $8.9 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 26 cents per share, the same as a year ago, the company said.

For the full fiscal year, Myers Industries reported earning $26 million, or 76 cents per share, on revenue of $825.2 million. A year ago, Myers had net income of nearly $30 million, or 88 cents per share, on revenue of $791.2 million.

Adjusted full-year net income was $34.1 million, or $1 per share, compared to $32.1 million, or 94 cents per share, a year ago, the company said.

“We are pleased with the consistent financial improvement of the company in 2013,” Myers President and Chief Executive Officer John Orr said in a statement. “Although we saw less strength in the fourth-quarter results due to softer sales volumes and transportation difficulties, our full-year results showed a 6.4 percent improvement in diluted earnings per share.”

The company’s actions to increase the dividend and buy back shares reflect executives’ positive outlook for the business and anticipated strong cash flow, Orr said.

Share repurchases reduce the supply of stock available to the public and increase earnings per share.

Orr said Myers is implementing the second phase of its restructuring of its Lawn and Garden segment.

While current first-quarter finances “will be impacted by extreme weather conditions” the company anticipates profits for the year will show improvement, he said.

“We continue to look for the right bolt-on acquisitions,” Orr said. “It’s all part of our balanced approach to capital allocation and what I can say is, stay tuned, I guess.”

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com


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