(By Balaseshan) Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC), a distributor of automotive replacement parts, reported 19 percent growth in fourth-quarter earnings helped by strong sales across its three business segments. Despite revenue missing consensus, earnings beat Street's expectations.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $160.23 million, or $1.03 per share, up from $134.96 million, or $0.86 per share, last year. The company recorded a one-time non cash curtailment gain of $23.5 million in the quarter.
Sales increased 3.5 percent to $3.12 billion, driven by respectable sales growth in three of its four businesses. The company said revenue growth proved to be more challenging as the year progressed, and is reflective of slowing industry trends across its businesses.
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Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of $0.93 per share on revenue of $3.19 billion for the fourth quarter.
Automotive sales increased 4.9 percent, while industrial sales rose 2.1 percent. Office products sales gained 2.9 percent, while electrical/electronic materials sales declined 1.6 percent.
In a separate release, the company announced a 9% increase in the regular cash dividend to an annual rate of $2.15 per share compared with the previous dividend of $1.98 per share. The quarterly cash dividend of $0.5375 per share is payable April 1 to shareholders of record March 8.
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GPC is trading down 2.17 percent at $69.89 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $55.58 and $71.44 for the past 52 weeks.