Armor Holdings Inc a maker of bulletproof vests for the law enforcement market, has hired Merrill Lynch to help sell its struggling ArmorGroup Services division.

The sale is expected to occur by the end of the year, leaving the company to concentrate on its manufacturing operations.

 The firm yesterday slashed its second-quarter earnings estimate to 16 cents a share from 28 cents a share. Net income for the second quarter will be 13 cents a share, the company said.

"The decision to sell ArmorGroup is consistent with our strategy to focus our resources and capital on manufacturing operations, where we continue to generate superior returns," Armor Holdings chief executive Jonathan M. Spiller said.