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Beneteau stock drops on 2009 outlook

Beneteau stocks slid as markets reacted to the French boatbuilder’s forecast for the coming year.

The Beneteau Group, which builds luxury power- and sailboats and has a U.S. subsidiary in Marion, S.C., says the banking and financial crisis has resulted in a “wait-and-see attitude” among some clients. The company said the rate of orders for the coming season “will be very different from previous years.”

Beneteau reported 860.7 million euros in sales for fiscal 2007-’08 (Sept. 1 to Aug. 31), up 7.8 percent over the previous year. Sailboats sales climbed 6.2 percent to 569.4 million euros, while powerboat sales increased 10.9 percent to 291.3 euros.

Beneteau released its earnings report and 2008-’09 forecast last Tuesday; stocks were trading at around 10 euros a share. By Friday, shares on Euronext fell to a 52-week low of 7.88 euros before closing at 8.75. Beneteau shares opened this morning at 8.37 euros.

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