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Graham breaks even as sales tumble

Graham Corp. shares tumbled by 9 percent on Wednesday after the Batavia heat transfer equipment maker said it broke even during the second quarter as weakness in its power generation and refining markets led to an 18 percent drop in sales.

In response, Graham said it cut its workforce by 6 percent during the quarter, eliminating a total of 18 jobs, including nine at the company's factory and headquarters in Batavia. The company, which has been steadily trimming jobs as its business has slowed, now has 301 employees, including 253 workers in Batavia, a spokeswoman said.

Graham, which has been struggling with softening sales for the last three years, said the weakness will continue into the current fiscal year. The company cut its sales forecast for the current fiscal year to between $75 million and $80 million, a drop of 13 percent to 18 percent from the $91.8 million in revenues it booked during the fiscal year that ended in March.

"Our order activity has remained weak," said James R. Lines, Graham's president and chief executive officer.

Graham said it earned $10,000, or less than a penny per share, during the quarter that ended in September, down from $1.3 million, or 13 cents per share, a year ago.

That softness was most apparent in the company's power generation equipment business, where sales plunged by 69 percent to $1.9 million and in its refining markets, where revenues dropped by 30 percent to $4.7 million. That offset a 10 percent improvement in sales to the chemical and petrochemical market and a 53 percent jump in sales to commercial, industrial and defense markets.

The company's stock fell by nearly 9 percent, or $1.89, to $19.96 in mid-day trading.


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