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VOL. 126 | NO. 21 | Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Thomas & Betts Reports Q4 Sales Increase

By Bill Dries

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Memphis-based Thomas & Betts Corp. has reported an 11.5 percent increase in net sales during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Net earnings for the quarter for the company that designs and manufactures electrical components as well as commercial heating and ventilation units increased 13.8 percent from a year ago to $40.3 million.

Acquisitions accounted for $35.7 million of the $532.5 million in sales or 7.5 percent of the increase.

Thomas & Betts bought Cable Management Group Ltd. in October for $110 million in cash. Based in the United Kingdom, Cable Management makes systems that protect electric components from fire, dust, moisture, vibration and corrosion.

The company also sold its communications products business to St. Louis-based Belden Inc. in November for $78 million in cash.

A year ago, the company bought the European manufacturer PMA AG for $120 million to extend its reach into European, Middle East and Asian markets. At about the same time, Thomas & Betts completed a $22 million acquisition of the assets of JT Packard & Associates Inc. of Madison, Wis.

Both acquisitions were in utilities construction.

The quarter began with Oppenheimer analyst Christopher Glynn upgrading the company’s stock from perform to outperform. He raised the company’s price target to $50 from $46 saying the market for Thomas & Betts’ products was improving. Glynn also cited the “conservative” outlook of the company’s leadership.

Thomas & Betts chairman and CEO Dominic J. Pileggi said in a Monday conference call that he expected growth in residential, institutional and industrial construction for 2011 “albeit at levels somewhat lower than we observed in 2010.”

And Pileggi said he expected a deterioration in commercial construction that’s lasted several years to “flatten out” in the last two quarters of this year.

“We anticipate that Thomas & Betts sales will grow in the mid- to high-single digit range for the full year 2011 and net earnings from continuing operations will be within the range of $3.15 to $3.35 per share,” Pileggi added.

For the year, Thomas & Betts posted $2 billion in net sales, a 9.4 percent from 2009.

Net earnings for the year were at $145.3 million or 28.2 percent more than 2009.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 41 41 17,762
MORTGAGES 70 70 23,138
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 49 49 16,740
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 14 5,795
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 113 113 25,287
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 18 5,399

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