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VOL. 123 | NO. 29 | Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thomas & Betts 4Q Earnings Fall, Predicts Lower ’08 Earnings

AP

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MEMPHIS (AP) - Electrical components maker Thomas & Betts Corp. said Monday its fourth-quarter earnings fell 5 percent, hurt by charges related to recent acquisitions. The company also issued a 2008 earning prediction under Wall Street's expectations, citing continued weakness in residential construction.

The company earned $48.3 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with $50.9 million, or 84 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Thomas & Betts said its net interest expense increased by $7 million in the 2007 quarter, mostly due to recent acquisitions.

Revenue increased 24 percent to $602.4 million, from $485.6 million a year earlier.

Analysts expected a profit of 89 cents per share on revenue of $616.6 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Thomas & Betts said revenue growth was driven by demand in industrial and commercial markets and price increases.

For the full year, the company posted a profit of $183.2 million, or $3.12 per share, compared with $175.1 million, or $2.85 per share, in 2006.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $2.14 billion. Analysts predicted a profit of $3.27 per share on revenue of $2.15 billion.

In its 2008 earnings prediction, the company said it expects to earn $3.80 per share to $3.95 per share for the year.

Analysts predict a profit of $4.05 per share, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

"We believe that our markets will continue to grow in 2008, although at a more modest rate than 2007," the company said in a statement. "Growth in industrial and nonresidential construction markets should offset the impact of continued weakness in the residential construction market in 2008."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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