(By Balaseshan) Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC), a distributor of automotive replacement parts, reported 14 percent growth in third-quarter earnings helped by strong sales across its three business segments. However, earnings and revenue missed the Street's expectations.
Earnings for the third quarter were $172.94 million, or $1.11 per share, up from $151.83 million, or $0.97 per share, last year.
Sales increased 3 percent to $3.38 billion. After adjusting sales results for one less selling day in the current quarter, total sales increased 4 percent from last year.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of $1.12 per share on revenue of $3.48 billion.
The automotive group reported a 2.5 percent sales increase and, adjusted for selling days, automotive sales were up 4 percent. Motion industries, the company's industrial group, posted a 4.5 percent sales increase for the quarter and this reflects a 6 percent increase in sales on a daily basis.
EIS, GPC's electrical group, reported the strongest growth among business segments, up 5 percent, or a 7 percent comparable sales increase. The office products group, showed a 1 percent sales decrease for the quarter, which translates to a 1 percent increase in sales on a daily basis.
The company said it is "well positioned" to show continued growth in GPC's businesses and it remains optimistic in outlook for the fourth quarter of 2012 and beyond.
Genuine Parts said cash position offers tremendous opportunities, and it continues to use cash in several key areas to maximize the total return to shareholders.
GPC is trading down 3.37 percent at $59.97 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $54.10 and $66.50 for the past 52 weeks.