HNI lowers office furniture outlook

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Helen chnick, New York, April 2Reuters)-HNI Corp (HNI. N)
First cut on Wednesday
Its quarterly outlook for office furniture business points out the cost pressures and weaknesses of selling office furniture through catalogues and large websitesbox retailers.
The company also produces furnace bottom products, which is expected to drop 6% for the first time.
Quarterly office furniture revenue.
Mascatine, Iowa, February
US-based companies have predicted
Sales of office furniture in the first quarter.
\"Economic deterioration and uncertainty in consumer confidence have had a negative impact on purchases related to small offices and home offices,\" chief executive Stan Akron said in a statement.
The company said that HNI\'s fireplace business and office furniture business based on large company furniture contracts are meeting expectations.
But the company\'s sales are low.
Offering end products through catalogs and retailers like Staples Inc. SPLS
O and ODP, office warehouse.
At least since April 2007, they have suffered losses in quarterly earnings.
Office furniture accounted for 82% of HNI\'s revenue in 2007.
Net sales rose 2% in 2007 to $2.
11 billion, but organic sales are almost flat, despite the weak catalogue and the large price increasebox business.
In recent months, the share price of office furniture companies has been hit hard, and industry executives have commented on the impact of the possible recession on employment and business confidence, important macroeconomic indicators of the core domestic office furniture business in the industry.
According to the Association of Business and Institutional manufacturers, in February, data showed that industry orders fell by 1% (BIFMA).
Analysts cut down HNI and its rival, Steelcase Inc . (SCS. N)
Herman Miller (MLHR. O)and Knoll Inc (KNL. N).
Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch wrote: \"Our rating changes are due to concerns that the depth and duration of the ongoing industry slowdown may be more important than previously thought ,\". He cut the ratings of all four companies.
Shares of HNI closed at $27 on Wednesday.
35, 43% lower than last year\'s high of $47. 94.
The company\'s share price rose 1.
$ 5% to $27. 76 in after-hours trade.
HNI plan first report
Quarterly earnings for April 17. (
Edited by Gary Hillfield burowitz)((Helen.
Reuters reporter Chernikoffcom; 646-223-6127;
Reuters News: Helen.
Reuters reporter Chernikoffcom@reuters. net))
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