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Brush Engineered Materials Profit Soars In 4Q

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) â¿¿ Brush Engineered Materials Inc.'s net income soared in the fourth quarter as demand for its products increased and metal prices rose.

The company, based in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, said Thursday that it is poised to benefit from the global recovery, and expects double-digit sales growth this year. Brush shares rose to a 52-week high, and closed up 20 percent.

Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $12.6 million, or 61 cents per share, compared to a loss of $3.6 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Brush said it sold more products and improved its profit margins.

The results were well above analysts' forecasts. Wall Street expected Brush to earn net income of 44 cents per share, according to FactSet data.

Net sales grew by 65 percent, to $356 million from $215.1 million. About half of the increase came from two companies that Brush bought: Barr Associates Inc. and Academy Corp.

Sales also benefited from higher metal prices, which Brush passed on to its customers. Industries such as electronics, telecommunications infrastructure and energy had more demand for its products, the company said.

For the full year, Brush's net income was $46.4 million, or $2.25 per share, compared with a loss of $12.4 million, or 61 cents per share, in 2009. Net sales in 2010 increased 92 percent, to $1.30 billion from $715.2 million in 2009.

The results made 2010 "a breakout year for the company," said Brush CEO Richard Hipple. Noting that the company's profit margins were better than in 2008, before the recession, Hipple said Brush has transformed from a metals, mining and specialty metals company to an advanced materials company.

Brush will change its name in March to Materion Corp., the company said last month. It said the name change will help its businesses work together and serve customers more efficiently.

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