RTI warns of earnings reduction

WEATHERSFIELD — RTI International Metals said its earnings will be reduced because of the investigation of an agent it used for trade duty collections.

The parent company of RMI Titanium Co. said today that it has received $7.6 million in reimbursement for trade duties that are in question by federal authorities.

The company said it is unlikely the entire amount will be disallowed but warned investors that earnings could be reduced by as much as 21 cents a share.

Also, RTI expects earnings to be reduced by 4 cents a share in each of the last three quarters of this year. This reduction comes because RTI has stopped filing claims for trade duty reimbursement.

The investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection involves imported titanium sponge that’s used to produce titanium products for RTI’s foreign customers. RTI said it uses an agent to draw back some of the duty in order to offset the amount of sponge used for exports outside the U.S. The use of an agent is a common industry practice, the company said.

Federal officials have seized the files of the RTI agent, however, and are investigating whether false claims were made, RTI said.

For more on this story, see Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com.

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