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Published: Friday, 1/23/2004

The Andersons boosts '03 earnings forecast

An upturn in a number of businesses including retail and grain merchandising prompted Maumee-based The Andersons to increase its 2003 profit forecast.

The company now says it expects to make $1.55 to $1.65 a share, compared with previous estimates of $1.15 to $1.30 a share. The firm will announced earnings Feb. 4.

The firm also announced changes in two potential acquisitions. It now expects to be 100 percent owner, rather than a minority stakeholder, in a business that would manage several thousand railcars and a fleet of locomotives. If the company is unable to complete the deal, however, transaction costs will hurt any 2004 profit. Also, the company's purchase of a grain elevator in Oakville, Ind., was not completed in December as hoped and is now expected to be final in the current quarter.

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