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Viking Office Forecasts Lower Earnings

April 09, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

Viking Office Products Inc. said the rising dollar and falling paper prices will result in lower-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter. The company's shares lost almost a third of their value after the announcement. The catalog retailer, which sells office supplies to small and mid-size businesses, also said sales growth is slowing in Europe. Viking has focused its recent expansion overseas, which now accounts for about 60% of sales. The Los Angeles-based company's stock was the most active issue in U.S. markets and fell $5.50, or 28%, to close at $14.50 on Nasdaq. The shares fell as low as $13.875, the lowest level since June 1995. Viking said it expects earnings per share to rise about 15%. That's about half the 29% increase anticipated, based on the average estimate of 27 cents by 10 analysts surveyed by IBES International.

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