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Genuine Parts 4Q Profit Rises 20% On Higher Industrial Sales

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Genuine Parts Co.'s (GPC) fourth-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 20% as the automotive parts seller and distributor attributed higher sales in all of its businesses--especially its industrial unit--to improving market conditions. The operator of the NAPA auto parts chain has posted improved results this year, helped by a recovering manufacturing sector. Its auto unit--the largest by revenue--has also seen demand improve after weathering the economic downturn as consumers fixed old vehicles rather than buy new ones. The company on Monday said its board approved a 10% increase to its quarterly dividend, to 45 cents a share, the 55th consecutive year of increases. Genuine Parts posted a profit of $118.7 million, or 75 cents a share, up from $99.2 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a per-share profit of 70 cents. Net sales rose 14% to $2.81 billion, above the company's upbeat October forecast of $2.69 billion to $2.74 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 29.1% from 31.1% as overhead costs increased 4.6%. The company's automotive segment sales increased 8.9%, while its profit rose 9.5%. Sales in Genuine Parts' industrial business rose 24% over a prior-year drop, pushing up profit 23%. Shares closed Friday at $55.25 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 16% in the past three months. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

Stock News for Genuine Parts (GPC)
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02/22/201109:33:15Genuine Parts 4Q Profit Rises 20% On Higher Industrial Sales
10/15/201009:42:11Genuine Parts 3Q Profit Up 22% Amid Higher Sales
07/16/201009:29:10Genuine Parts 2Q Earnings Rise 20% On Broad Sales Jump
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02/16/201010:31:33Genuine Parts 4Q Net Rises 13% On Improved Auto Performance

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