Less Bounce At Rubbermaid

RUBBERMAID, ONCE A HIGH-flier, has joined the restructuring parade. The plastic products maker has been hit this year by higher raw-materials costs and weak retail demand, as well as management turnover and frayed relations with customers. On Dec. 5, Rubbermaid said it would take a $94 million aftertax charge and slice 9% of its jobs to try to save $50 million a year. Long a marketing paragon, the Wooster (Ohio) company now is focusing more on efficient production and distribution. It acknowledged that earnings will significantly trail last year's and said it may buy back more shares.

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