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Lifetime Brands posts weaker 2Q earnings

Jeffrey Siegel is president and chief executive of

Jeffrey Siegel is president and chief executive of Lifetime Brands, which designs and develops kitchenware, tableware and home decor products. This is the company's showroom in Garden City. Credit: Danny Ghitis, 2010

Lifetime Brands, the maker of kitchenware product lines such as Cuisinart and KitchenAid, cited the stagnant economy in reporting weaker second-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The Garden City-based company said it earned $559,000 last quarter, a nearly 73 percent drop from the $2.06 million the company earned during the same period a year ago.

Earnings were reduced by an accounting charge when the company repaid $10 million of its debt early, and by a one-time retirement-benefit expense. After adjusting for one-time items, Lifetime said its net income was $1 million.

Profit was buffered by a nearly $1-million decrease in income tax provision.

Revenue for Lifetime increased 5 percent to $94.9 million from $90.4 million last year. Still, Jeffrey Siegel, the president and chief executive of Lifetime, said in a news release, "The quarter was marked by continuing economic uncertainty, which restrained retail sales in most of our product categories. In response, our major retailer partners generally maintained conservative inventory position."

In a later interview with Newsday, Siegel added that a timing change for orders from one of Lifetime's biggest customers also contributed to the lower profits. He said the profit from that customer will be transferred to the third and fourth quarter earnings.

Lifetime reported earnings of 4 cents a share, and 8 cents when adjusted for one-time items. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected earnings per share of 20 cents, before and after adjustments.

Lifetime's stock fell 3.95 percent Tuesday, to close at $12.65.

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