Zep's Profit Wiped Out by Charges

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Zep's ( ZEP) fiscal fourth-quarter earnings nearly doubled, but adjusted for restructuring charges profit fell far short of expectations.

Zep, the maker of cleaning and maintenance chemicals such as ArmorAll glass and car cleaners, said early Thursday that net income surged 92.7% to $4.1 million, or 18 cents a share, from $2.1 million, or 9 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted for restructuring charges, Zep's profit came in at $5.3 million, or 24 cents a share, missing analysts' consensus for earnings of 37 cents.

Zep said higher costs pressured margins in the quarter.

Investors were clearly disappointed, bidding Zep shares 9% lower in premarket trading Thursday. The stock closed lower at $17.58 on Wednesday, and remains around 11.6% lower for the year.

Revenue rose 7.7% in the fourth quarter to $173.8 million, but the top-line figure also missed expectations. Analysts had called for Zep to book fourth-quarter sales of $175.6 million.

Zep was spun off from lighting maker Acuity Brands ( AYI) in 2007.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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