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Aggressive Growth

Libbey Inc. (LBY) beat expectations with its latest quarterly announcement, as sales rose 10% for the global tableware company.

Company Description

Libbey makes glass, metal, ceramic and plastic tableware in the U.S. in addition to Mexico, China, Portugal and the Netherlands. The customers range from retail to foodservice and industrial uses.

Sales Up 10%

On Apr 29 Libbey reported first-quarter results that included sales of $174 million, just over a 10% increase since the same period last year. Net income came in at $56.4 million, but after stripping out special items that breaks down to a 5 cent loss per share.

While it was a loss it still goes down as an earnings surprise, given the 28 cent loss that was expected. Libbey has a rocky earnings history but could be turning a corner. This was the third surprise in the past 4 quarters.

Consensus Rising

After the news analysts raised full-year estimates for both 2010 and 2011. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this year jumped 19 cents to 79 cents.

Forecasts for next year are averaging $1.18, up 5 cents on the earnings release. The growth rate for 2010 is a bit skewed after a $1.47 loss in 2009, but should grow 49% in 2011.

Valuation Picture

Shares are trading at roughly 17 times forward earnings right now. Given that loss in 2009 the PEG ratio is not very useful, but the price to book is coming in at 0.3, which is about half the industry average.

The Chart

LBY set a new 52-week high on the news, but has since tapered off along with the indices. However, we have seen a shift in momentum recently and shares could be regrouping and heading higher.

Libbey Inc - ticker LBY >

Bill Wilton is the Growth Stock Strategist for He is also the Editor in charge of the market-beating Zacks Growth Trader service

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