Belden 4Q profit falls, but revenue disappoints

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Communications equipment maker Belden Inc. said Thursday that its fourth quarter profit fell 53 percent from a year ago as the company restructured and customers reduced their inventory levels.

Its adjusted earnings topped Wall Street forecasts, but revenue came in below expectations as did company projections for revenue in the first quarter and full year of 2012.

CEO John Stroup said the deteriorating financial situation in Europe could pose a risk to growth.

Belden makes networking equipment used for communication, and sales can drop when companies cut back spending on their infrastructure.

Its shares fell $2.07, or 5.1 percent, to $38.82 in afternoon trading. They are still closer to the upper end of their 52-week range of $23.24 to $41.43 per share.

The company reported net income fell to $26.5 million, or 56 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $56.4 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

Belden reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 57 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $464.4 million from $425.2 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $493.2 million.

For all of 2011, the company reported net income of $114.3 million, or $2.38 per share, compared to $108.5 million, or $2.27 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose to $1.98 billion from $1.62 billion in 2010.

Belden warned that its full-year and first-quarter 2012 earnings will be on the low end, or lower, than analysts expected as the global economy continues modest growth.

The company expects first quarter adjusted earnings between 48 cents per share and 53 cents per share on revenue between $445 million to $455 million. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of 52 cents per share on $474.8 million in revenue.

For all of 2012, the company expects adjusted earnings from continuing operations to be between $2.70 per share and $2.90 per share on revenue between $1.98 billion and $2.03 billion.

Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $2.82 per share on $2.08 billion in revenue.

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