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Polypore Shares Down 5% As Q4 Results Miss Estimates

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Shares of Polypore International, Inc. (PPO: Quote) were down five percent in extended trading on Wednesday after the battery technology company reported results for the fourth quarter that missed analysts' expectations. The company reported a profit for the quarter that declined from last year, reflecting higher charges and a revenue decline.

Sales of lead-acid battery separators in the quarter grew 7 percent, while lithium battery separator sales decreased 34 percent from the year-ago quarter. Sales at the company's separations media segment increased 2 percent in the quarter.

"Solid performance of our Separations Media and Transportation and Industrial segments was offset by our Electronics and EDVs segment, where anticipated improvements did not materialize," President and CEO Robert Toth said in a statement.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based technology filtration company reported net income of $17.5 million or $0.37 per share for the fourth quarter, lower than $26.4 million or $0.56 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted net income for the quarter was $20.5 million or $0.43 per share, compared to $27.6 million or $0.58 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.52 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales for the quarter decreased to $180.2 million from $191.0 million in the same quarter last year, and missed ten Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $191.18 million. Excluding foreign currency translation, sales decreased four percent.

The sales decline reflects weak end-market demand in the Electronics and Electric Drive Vehicles or EDVs, segment.

In the Electronics and EDVs segment, consumer electronics-related sales declined due to a further weakening of end-market demand, despite the addition of new accounts. In EDVs, the level of production of certain high-separator content EDVs was lower than expected.

The company also said its board of directors has authorized the repurchase up to 4 million shares of common stock by December 31, 2013.

For fiscal 2012, the company reported net income of $71.0 million or $1.50 per, lower than $105.2 million or $2.23 per share in the prior year. Excluding items, adjusted net income for the year was $84.1 million or $1.78 per share, compared to $110.3 million or $2.34 per share in the year ago.

Net sales for the full year declined to $717.4 million from $763.1 million in the previous year. Excluding foreign currency translation, sales decreased three percent.

Street was looking for full-year 2012 earnings of $1.87 per share on annual revenues of $728.29 million.

Looking ahead, Toth added that "While the first quarter will be challenging, the long-term demand drivers for our products remain unchanged and we expect to experience growth as 2013 progresses."

However, Electronics and EDVs segment is expected to experience improved demand in 2013.

PPO closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $39.95, down $2.32 or 5.49% on a volume of 1.27 million shares. The stock lost a further $2.00 or 5.01% in after-hours trading.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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