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NCR 1Q Loss Widens On Pension Costs, Sees Improved Backlog

By Melissa Korn Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NCR Corp.'s (NCR) first-quarter loss widened as the company continued to plow funds into its struggling pension program, though it posted a robust order backlog and reiterated its full-year forecast. NCR, known best as a maker of automated teller machines and cash registers, struggled during the recession, as its main bank and retail clients cut back on expenditures. But the Duluth, Ga., company, which also sells airport check-in machines and DVD rental kiosks under the Blockbuster Express brand, suggested some stress may be easing as it saw an 18% increase in orders. Shares of NCR were flat, at $15.93 in after-hours trading, after closing up nearly 4%. The stock is up 43% so far this year. NCR reported a loss of $19 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of $15 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding pension and relocation charges, NCR posted first-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share. Revenue edged up 2%, to $1.03 billion, with the Asia-Pacific-Japan region boasting 24% growth. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a loss of 8 cents and $1.04 billion in revenue. The company reiterated its full-year non-GAAP earnings forecast, saying it expects per-share earnings of $1.35 to $1.45. NCR also said it still expects revenue growth of 2% to 5% on a constant currency basis, but the company cut its full-year per-share earnings forecast by 2 cents, saying it now expects a range of 39 cents to 49 cents. NCR said it will rebalance the assets in its pension, shifting entirely to fixed income by the end of 2012. The company's pension plan was underfunded by about $1 billion at the end of 2009. The company backed its forecast of contributing $110 million to the pension plan this year. -By Melissa Korn, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2271; melissa.korn@dowjones.com

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