Belden Connects With Revenue Growth, Confirms 2008 Outlook

St. Louis-based Belden, manufacturer of more than 3,000 wire and cabling products, roped in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2007 of $584.6 million, with income from continuing operations of $35.6 million, or 71 cents per diluted share.

Adjusted for a variety of charges (including a voluntary buyout of older workers announced Dec. 11), operating income in the fourth quarter increased 69.1 percent over the year-ago quarter to $63.6 million. As a percent of revenue, adjusted operating income was 10.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006. Adjusted diluted income per share from continuing operations was 83 cents in the fourth quarter of 2007, an 80.4 percent increase from 46 cents in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Full-year revenue was $2.03 billion, a 35.9 percent hike from about $1.5 billion in 2006. The 2007 figure includes revenue of $495.1 million from businesses acquired during 2007 and favorable currency impact of $39.3 million or 2.7 percent.

“Organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter was 6 percent, reflecting an outstanding quarter in Asia and growth in North America, partially offset by lower volume in Europe as we remain focused on improving margins,” said John Stroup, president and CEO. “We are pleased with our results for the quarter and year, and we are encouraged by the positive organic growth in the second half of 2007.”

Also in 2007, Belden repurchased 456,300 shares for $21.0 million during the fourth quarter for a 2007 total of 676,800 shares for $31.7 million. In November and December, the company completed the sale of three parcels of real estate, for net proceeds of $26.8 million. The real estate sold includes the company’s former manufacturing facility in Pointe Claire, Quebec, its excess real estate in Venlo, The Netherlands, and its occupied real estate in Venlo that the company is leasing back.

“As we stated in our release of December 11, we expect 2008 revenue to be between $2.2 billion and $2.3 billion,” Stroup said. “This revenue estimate is based on continuing expectations of slowing economic growth. Excluding restructuring costs and nonrecurring charges, we expect our operating profit margin to be between 12 percent and 14 percent of revenue and earnings per diluted share to be between $3.45 and $3.75 for the year.”