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Crown Cork's shares fall on weak estimates


The stock of Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc., one of the world's largest makers of aluminum, plastic and tin cans, plummeted 12 percent yesterday after the company said it expects earnings to be worse than last year.

With net income expected to be less than $55 million in the last six months of this year, the company said earnings per share for the entire year will probably not reach 1994's level of $2.29 a share, which excluded restructuring charges.

This is substantially lower than estimates from stock analysts who had predicted the company would earn between $2.38 and $2.48 a share this year, according to Zacks Investment Research, a firm that tracks earnings estimates.

With more than 4.5 million shares traded, the company's stock yesterday dropped $5.375 to close at $38.75 a share.

"There is too much beverage-can-making capacity in North America," said Crown Cork's chairman, president and chief executive officer, William J. Avery, in a prepared statement. "We are naturally disappointed to be facing reduced earnings for the first time in many years."

But Crown Cork, which has 149 plants in 43 countries, said it is still pursuing its plans to merge with the Paris-based CarnaudMetalbox, which would more than double its annual sales of $4.5 billion.

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