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Jessica Soberman/MEDILL

Excluding one-time items totaling $13 million, earnings were 81 cents per diluted share, only slightly below the 84 cents that analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance estimated.

Littelfuse Inc.’s profit hurt by onetime charge

by Jessica Soberman
Feb 05, 2013

Littelfuse, Inc. primarily impacted by pension-accounting charges related to its recent investment in a conductor material manufacturer, said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profits dropped nearly 35 percent.

In the latest quarter the Chicago-based electrical components maker had net income of $9.8 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, a 35 percent decrease from $15.2 million, or 70 cents per diluted share in the year ago period.

Excluding one-time items totaling $13 million -- most of which related to the company’s recent investment in Shocking Technologies Inc. -- Littelfuse’s earnings were 81 cents per diluted share, slightly below the 84 cents that analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance estimated.

The company’s sales rose 8.1 percent to $15.9 million from $14.7 million in last year’s quarter, helped by sales increases in each of its three business units: electronics, automotive and electrical.

Littelfuse manufactures and engineers components used in electrical energy products found in automobiles, commercial vehicles, industrial equipment and consumer electronics such as tablets and smartphones.

“The fourth-quarter came in consistent with our guidance, with weak electronics sales, solid automotive performance and continued strong growth in electrical,” said CEO Gordon Hunter on Tuesday morning in a conference call to investors.

He told investors to expect earnings per share in the first-quarter between 75 cents and 88 cents, slightly lower than the 90 cents analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance have been expecting.

Despite the CEO’s downward guidance, the company's share price strengthened: In New York Stock Exchange trading, Littelfuse shares rose $2.19, or 3.4 percent, to close at $65.97.

“The full year 2013 is shaping up to look much like 2012, but with different cross currents by business unit,” said Littelfuse CFO Phil Franklin.

For the 2012 year, Littelfuse had net income of $75.3 million or $3.40 per diluted share, down 13 percent from the prior year’s $87 million, or $3.90 per diluted share. Full-year sales rose to $667.9 million from $665 million in the previous year.