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


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."

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