June 7, 2012 / 9:20 PM / 6 years ago

Exide posts surprise loss on higher costs

(Reuters) - Exide Technologies XIDE.O posted a surprise quarterly loss because of rising spent battery input costs, particularly in North America.

Net sales for 2012 were hurt by lead-related price decreases of $12.3 million, the Milton, Georgia-based company said.

Mild weather in North America and Europe has consistently hurt Exide’s battery sales. Its stock, which once traded at $24.00, was down 4 percent at $2.35 in extended trade. It closed at $2.45 on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

The company’s net loss attributable narrowed to $2.7 million, or 3 cents per share, for the fourth quarter from $13.7 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue was flat at $782.6 million. Sales at its Transportation Americas segment fell 7 percent to $231.3 million.

Gross profit fell 9 percent as cost of good sold rose 3 percent to $659.5 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 8 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $750.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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