Diversified metal manufacturer Worthington Industries, Inc. (WOR: Quote) reported Tuesday a profit for the fourth quarter that edged up from last year, reflecting sales growth. Earnings per share came in significantly higher than analysts' expectations, and quarterly revenues topped their expectations.
"We had a strong fourth quarter with very good results from our core businesses and most of our joint ventures. The Cylinders business segment produced excellent results from consumer products, as well as alternative fuel tank products. We also saw strong automotive demand in the fourth quarter, although other markets, such as construction, have been limited in their market recovery," Chairman and CEO John McConnell said in a statement.
The Columbus, Ohio-based metal processing company reported net earnings of $52.08 million or $0.75 per share for the fourth quarter, higher than $51.92 million or $0.70 per share in the prior-year quarter.
On average, seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.53 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net sales for the quarter increased 12 percent to $755.41 million from $675.69 million in the same quarter last year, and topped six Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $682.41 million.
The increase in net sales includes $64.5 million due to acquisitions, the impact of higher overall volumes and higher average selling prices in Pressure Cylinders, which were partially offset by the $25.6 million impact of the deconsolidation transactions.
Steel processing net sales for the quarter edged down to $430 million over the prior-year quarter, and pressure cylinders net sales of $237 million were up 29 percent from the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, engineered cobs net sales totaled $64 million.
"We have been able to work through the volatility of material costs throughout the year as we drive to maximize our operational performance. Our newly acquired businesses have provided us with new markets and are contributing to our overall earnings," McConnell added.
On Wednesday, the company's board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.13 per share, an increase of $0.01 per share from the prior quarter. The dividend is payable on September 28, to shareholders of record September 14, 2012.
For fiscal 2012, net sales grew 4 percent to $2.53 billion from the prior year, and net earnings edged up to $115.60 million, or $1.65 per share from $115.07 million or $1.53 per share from last year. Street was looking for full-year 2012 earnings of $1.47 per share on revenues of $2.46 billion.
"Each of our core businesses is well-positioned with growth strategies that include additional acquisition opportunities, as well as growth in existing product lines and adjacent markets. We will continue to focus on unlocking our earnings potential and driving excellence throughout our organization," McConnell added.
In Thursday's regular trading session, WOR is currently trading at $18.44, up $0.81 or 4.59% on a volume of 0.40 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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