c) Declining nickel prices resulted in inventory losses in the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2012 of approximately $1,150,000 and $4,645,000, respectively. For the same periods last year, fluctuating nickel prices produced inventory losses of $870,000 and $1,637,000, respectively. The impact to reported earnings was a negative swing of approximately $0.03 per share for the fourth quarter and $0.31 for the year.
d) In the fourth quarter and the entire year of 2011, operating income for the fabrication unit of our Metals Segment was favorably affected by higher unit selling prices associated with the completion of several large scale lump-sum jobs. The unit realized $135,000 and $4,659,000 of additional billings during the fourth quarter and total year of 2011, respectively, from these completed jobs which added approximately $0.02 per share and $0.49 per share, respectively.
Demand for manufactured pipe remains relatively strong, while the fabrication unit continues to deal with excess capacity in the industry which results in margin compression and impacts our sales and profits. Margins on fabrication projects in the fourth quarter of 2012 were the lowest of the entire year.
On August 21, 2012, the Company acquired all of the stock of Palmer, a leading manufacturer of liquid storage solutions and separation equipment for the petroleum, municipal water, wastewater, chemical and food industries. In recent years, Palmer's business has been focused on providing FRP and steel tanks to the oil industry. Their facility in Andrews, Texas is strategically located in the heart of the Permian Basin of west Texas and also serves other liquid rich shale areas including the Anadarko Basin, Eagle Ford Shale and the Barnett Shale. With approximately 130 employees, Palmer generated $36 million in revenues for the trailing twelve months ended July 31, 2012.The Company paid $28,998,000 for this acquisition and the prior shareholders of Palmer have the ability to receive earn-out payments ranging from $2,500,000 to $10,500,000 if the business unit achieves targeted levels of EBITDA over a three-year period following closing; the Company will have the ability to claw-back portions of the purchase price over a two-year period following closing if EBITDA falls below baseline levels. The Company funded the purchase price through an increase in its existing credit facility and new long-term debt in the amount of $22.5 million. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Synalloy's earnings. The operating results of Palmer are included in the Metals Segment.