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Genuine Parts 2Q Net Rises 22%; Margins Fall On Higher Costs

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Genuine Parts Co.'s (GPC) second-quarter earnings rose 22% and topped analysts' estimates as the replacement-parts provider continued to see higher sales in all of its segments. "We are encouraged by the sales and earnings growth achieved in the second quarter and for the first six months in 2011," said Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas C. Gallagher. "We also remain optimistic that our businesses will show continued progress over the balance of the year." The operator of the NAPA auto-parts chain weathered the economic downturn relatively well as consumers turned to fixing old vehicles rather than buying new ones. The company has also seen increased profits in recent quarters as the manufacturing sector bounces back from recessionary woes. Genuine Parts reported a profit of $151.8 million, or 96 cents a share, up from $124.5 million, or 78 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales jumped 12% to $3.18 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 89 cents on revenue of $3.11 billion. Gross margin edged down to 28.8% from 28.9% on higher input costs. The company's automotive business, which accounts for nearly half of its revenue, saw 8.6% sales growth, the third consecutive quarterly increase. Industrial sales rose 19%, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time in its history, while sales at its smaller electrical unit surged 28%. Shares closed at $55.12 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 31% over the past year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283;

Stock News for Genuine Parts (GPC)
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