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Zebra Hobbled
By Rich Smith
November 7, 2005

Never underestimate the power of diminished expectations.

Pretty much any way you look at it (but one), the third-quarter 2005 earnings results published by specialty printer maker Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA) last week were disappointing. Sales increased 2.6% for the quarter, but profits per diluted share declined by 5% -- poor results on their face, which appear even worse when you consider that the company bought back 2.5% of its outstanding shares, and therefore it would have been easier to increase per-share earnings (as opposed to firmwide, net earnings) by divvying them up among fewer shares....
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