Currency and Pricing Issues Lower NCI's Fourth-Quarter Earnings

Higher transaction prices offset lower shipped volume.
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(NCS) - Get Report

, a maker of metal building components and systems, reported a 3.2% decline in its fourth-quarter fiscal 2008 earnings, hurt by charges for the cost of goods sold and currency exchange losses.

However, net sales for the quarter grew 9.8% to $508.93 million from the $463.57 million in the prior year's quarter, as higher transaction prices more than offset an adverse impact of lower volume of tons shipped.

NCS's revenue grew 8.6% to $1.76 billion from the $1.63 billion in fiscal 2007. Consequently, earnings increased 23.8% to $78.88 million or $4.05 per share from $63.73 million or $3.06 per share. Net income totaled $24.61 million or $1.26 per share compared to $25.44 million or $1.27 per share in the year-ago quarter. The latest quarterly earnings beat the consensus estimate of $1.12 per share.

Segment-wise, metal coil coating revenue decreased 6.1% to $72.48 million from $77.21 million, boosted by product shift to higher priced products. However, revenue in the metal components segment rose 6.7% to $201.88 million from $189.24 million, driven by the RCC acquisition. Finally, the engineered building system's revenue climbed 13.9% to $331.77 million from $291.36 million, gaining from higher steel prices.

At the end of fourth-quarter 2008, the engineered building group's backlog stood at $330.00 million, reflecting high production rates during the quarter and the postponement of near-term purchasing decisions by customers.

Looking ahead, NCI expects to report a modest loss for first quarter fiscal 2009, exclusive of special charges, based on its projections of an approximate 40.0% sequential decline in volume of tonnage shipped. Moreover, the company anticipates its recent cost-reduction initiatives to generate annualized cost savings of around $34.00 million.

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