Sales are expected to finish in the mid- to high-single digit range vs. a year ago. Core earnings per share, which exclude restructuring charges, are expected to grow in the high single digit range and above current consensus estimates. Earnings in the base period include a on-time gain from the divestiture of Comet.
The company also agreed with existing consensus estimates for the Jan.-June 2003 period. For the fiscal year, the company expects to achieve its long-term growth rates. Sales, excluding foreign exchange impacts, are predicted to grow 4-6%.