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Consolidated Cigar Holdings (NYSE: CIG) was stepped on for $3 3/4 to $21 after blowing smoke in investors' faces today, announcing that it expects fiscal Q1 earnings to show little or no growth compared to the same period a year ago and falling short of the street's mean earnings estimate of $0.37 per share. The company said sales have slowed due to inventory imbalances, an excess supply of heretofore unknown brands in the marketplace, and production problems at its new plant in Mexico. However, the recent love affair between U.S. consumers and fat, expensive stogies has not cooled, according to the company. It expects the Q1 results will not be indicative of the entire year, adding that fiscal 1998 EPS will be more than 20% higher than in 1997. The news pulled other cigar makers lower, with recent Daily Trouble subject General Cigar Holdings (NYSE: MPP) losing $1 3/16 to $17 5/16, Swisher International (NYSE: SWR) dropping $5/16 to $14 3/4, and 800-JR CIGAR (Nasdaq: JRJR) falling $2 3/8 to $21 3/4.
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