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Masco Swings To Profit On Higher Sales And Margins, Yet Misses Estimates


Home improvement and building products company Masco Corp. (MAS) said Monday it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, on growth across all businesses in North America and elsewhere, improved margins as well as lower income tax expense. However, quarterly earnings missed Wall Street estimates while sales matched expectations.

Moving forward, Masco said prospects appear bright due to sustained improvement in home construction, repair and remodel activity.

"We delivered a strong fourth quarter with improved top and bottom line growth across all five operating segments," said CEO Timothy Wadhams. "Sales growth was driven by new products and increased international sales that outperformed the Eurozone economies..."

The Taylor, Michigan-based company posted fourth-quarter net income of $45 million or $0.12 per share, compared with a net loss of $87 million or $0.25 per share last year.

Results for the recent quarter included one-time charges of $30 million, compared with about $72 million in the prior year.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $51 million or $0.15 per share, compared with $20 million or $0.06 per share a year ago.

On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.16 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Sales for the quarter grew 9 percent to about $2 billion from $1.83 billion a year ago. Nineteen analysts had a consensus revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter.

North American sales increased 9 percent, and international sales grew 11 percent year-over-year.

Among segments, Plumbing Products sales grew 8 percent, on growth in new products at retail from repair and remodel activity and international sales. Decorative Architectural Products climbed 6 percent, on new products and programs.

Cabinets and Related Products sales were up 9 percent, on increased North American cabinetry dealer channel sales from repair and remodel activity. Installation and Other Services sales gained 15 percent, due to growth in new home construction, commercial and retrofit activity.

Other Specialty Products sales increased 9 percent, led by North American window sales percentage growth in the low teens.

Results were further helped by gross margin that expanded 100 basis points to 27.1 percent from last year and operating margin climbed to 7.1 percent from 1.7 percent.

Income tax expense for the quarter was lower at $20 million, compared with $37 million in the prior year.

Last month, Masco announced the appointment of Keith Allman as CEO, effective February 14. Allman, currently Masco group president, succeeds Timothy Wadhams, who will be retiring.

Masco stock is trading at $21.70, down $0.32 or 1.45%, on a volume of 8.5 million shares on the NYSE. In after hours, the stock gained $0.30 or $1.38 at $22.00. In the past year, the stock has traded in the range of $17.66 - $23.60.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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