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Gibraltar slashes second-quarter earnings forecast as residential demand sags

Gibraltar Industries stock tumbled by 7 percent Friday after the company warned that its second-quarter profits will be just half as much as it had predicted after its key construction markets failed to rebound as robustly as expected this spring after a harsh winter.

The news touched off a wave of selling in Gibraltar’s stock, with the shares sliding by $1.31 to $15.30.

Gibraltar executives blamed the weakness on unexpected softness in the company’s residential building products market. Residential revenues, which account for about half of Gibraltar’s overall sales, grew by 6 percent during the second quarter, less than a third of the 20 percent increase Gibraltar executives were expecting.

And the company warned that it isn’t expecting its residential market to get much stronger during the rest of this year. The company said residential sales during the second half of this year are likely to mirror the 2 percent revenue growth from that market during the first six months of this year.

As a result, Gibraltar warned that its adjusted profits during the second quarter would range between 14 cents and 16 cents per share, far less than the 29 cents to 32 cents per share that the company had forecast. The company said it expects its adjusted earnings per share during the second half of this year to be on par with last year.

The company said its second quarter sales are likely to range between $230 million and $233 million, up about 3 percent from $224.5 million a year ago. That’s less than a third of the 10 percent revenue growth that the company had expected.

“After a long, cold winter that drove lower-than-anticipated first-quarter results, end market demand in the second quarter did not rebound as expected,” said Brian Lipke, Gibraltar’s chairman and chief executive officer.