By Dow Jones Business News,
February 21, 2014, 09:02:00 AM EDT
By Erin McCarthy
Ecolab Inc. ( ECL ) said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 24% on broad revenue growth, led by a sharp rise in its global
energy segment's sales.
Minnesota-based Ecolab's traditional product lines include disinfectants and detergents for restaurants, hospitals and
other institutions. The company expanded into water-treatment chemicals used by the energy industry and paper industry
with its $5.6 billion-purchase of Nalco in 2011. Ecolab viewed its acquisition of Champion Technologies as an extension
of Nalco's business.
Ecolab reported a profit of $287.1 million, or 93 cents a share, up from $231.4 million, or 77 cents a share, a year
Excluding special gains, charges and other items, adjusted earnings rose to $1.04 a share from 89 cents. The company
had projected per-share adjusted earnings between $1.01 and $1.05.
Net sales jumped 17% to $3.56 billion, slightly above analysts' estimates of $3.54 billion.
Global energy segment net sales surged 78% to $1.06 billion, while its industrial business posted a 4.5% increase and
its institutional segment recorded a 3.7% increase in net sales.
For the current quarter, the company forecast adjusted per-share earnings of 71 cents to 75 cents, while analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters most recently expected 77 cents.
For the full year, the company forecast adjusted per-share earnings of $4.10 to $4.20. Analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters recently expected earnings of $4.19 a share.
The stock is down about 5% this year.
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