Financial Snapshots

Feb. 8, 2002
A digest of observations from electrical companies' earnings reports W.W. Grainger fourth-quarter earnings up 28% W.W. Grainger Inc., Chicago, said its

A digest of observations from electrical companies' earnings reports

W.W. Grainger fourth-quarter earnings up 28%

W.W. Grainger Inc., Chicago, said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 28 percent boosted by lower interest expense. Net income increased to $61.5 million, or 65 cents a share, from $47.9 million, or 51 cents, a year ago. Sales fell to $1.11 billion from $1.21 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Sales for the full year 2001 decreased 4 percent to $4.8 billion versus $5.0 billion in 2000. Net earnings for the year were $174.5 million, or $1.84 per share. The full year results include nonrecurring, after-tax charges of $36.6 million or $0.39 per share. “Although the recession in North America caused a decline in sales, we benefited from the actions taken throughout 2001 to create a more focused and cost effective organization,” said Grainger's chairman and chief executive officer, Richard L. Keyser. “Cash flow was particularly strong in 2001, allowing us to continue investing in the business and buy back 1.8 million shares of stock.” He added, “The soft economy and mild weather have continued in January, but we remain committed to delivering what we projected in November, including earnings per share of $2.30 to $2.65 for 2002.”

Anixter fourth-quarter earnings drop 62%

Anixter International Inc., Skokie, Ill., said its fourth-quarter earnings plunged 62 percent, before a foreign exchange loss in Argentina, as sales softened across all of its customer markets. Anixter, which lowered its results forecast on Jan. 7, posted earnings of $8.1 million, or 21 cents a share, before a 6-cent charge related to the devaluation of the Argentine peso, down from $21.2 million, or 53 cents a share, excluding a charge, a year earlier. The company also took a charge in the quarter of $2.3 million, or 6 cents a share, in connection with the early retirement of $49.2 million of its 8 percent senior notes. Fourth-quarter sales dropped 23 percent to $662.6 million. Anixter said it expects first-quarter earnings per share between 18 cents and 25 cents, with sales of $640 million to $660 million. It forecast 2002 earnings per share of $1.20 to $1.50, including the effects of a goodwill accounting change, with revenues of $2.7 billion to $2.9 billion for the year.

Littelfuse reports fourth-quarter results

Littelfuse Inc. reported sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2001 and the year. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2001 were $60.9 million, a 9 percent decrease from sales of $66.7 million in the third quarter of 2001. Including restructuring costs, the net loss for the quarter was $2.8 million or $0.13 per share. For the fourth quarter of 2000, Littelfuse reported sales of $82.9 million. “Sales trended down as expected in the seasonally slow fourth quarter, but we believe that sales and order rates have stabilized,” said Howard B. Witt, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We have not yet, however, seen any signs of a recovery,” added Witt. For the full year, sales were $272.1 million, a 27 percent decrease from the record sales level of $371.9 million in 2000. Net income was $4.1 million in 2001, down 89 percent from net income of $37.3 million in 2000. For the fourth quarter of 2001, electrical fuse sales increased 11 percent as compared to the prior year. Restructuring expenses of $4.6 million were recorded in the fourth quarter, related to the planned closure of a U.S. manufacturing facility, workforce reductions in Korea and the write-down of manufacturing equipment.

Integrated posts Q1 net loss vs. year-ago profit

Integrated Electrical Services Inc., Houston, posted a first-quarter net loss and lowered its 2002 earnings outlook amid weak demand. Including accounting changes and restructuring charges, Integrated posted a net loss of $285.1 million, or $7.17 per share, compared to net profit of $7 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The accounting charge was for $7.13 per share. Excluding taxes and the change in accounting, the Houston-based company posted a first-quarter loss of $3.4 million compared with a profit of $13.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Excluding the change in accounting, Integrated recorded a loss of 4 cents a share, compared to a profit of 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The consensus analyst forecast was for earnings of 2 cents a share. Revenues fell to $375.2 million from $427 million in the year-ago quarter. The company said excluding charges it expected second-quarter earnings of between 5 cents a share and 9 cents a share. Integrated said it would also take a charge of one to two cents per share in the quarter for additional job cuts. The consensus analyst estimate for the second-quarter was for earnings of 12 cents a share.