Shares of Toledo's Owens-Illinois, Inc. fell $3.71 or 21 percent Wednesday and yesterday as investors sold the stock following the company's announcement that it was again increasing its estimate for settling asbestos liability lawsuits.
Nearly 5 million shares - four times the usual two-day volume - have changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange since the company late Tuesday said it had taken a $475-million accounting charge in the first quarter to increase its asbestos-liability reserve.
It was the second time in two years the company increased the estimate. O-I shares closed down $2.70 at $14.25 yesterday.
Executives of the bottle and jar manufacturer have said the firm's financial position is sound, and that O-I won't be forced into bankruptcy like many other asbestos producers. Standard & Poor's said Wednesday the asbestos reserve increase "raises concerns because the liability has exceeded earlier estimates and suggests that Owens-Illinois' obligations relative to asbestos may decline more slowly than previously expected."
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.