Motor and water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith Corporation reported fourth quarter earnings of U.S. $0.42 per share, in line with previous estimates. Full year earnings were $1.76 compared with 2002 earnings of $1.86 per share. Net earnings were $52.2 million compared with 2002 net earnings of $51.3 million. Sales for the year were $1.53 billion, approximately 4 percent higher than 2002 sales of $1.47 billion.
The company also adjusted its 2004 earnings guidance to a range between $2.20-$2.40 per share from the previous range of $2.40-$2.60 a share. According to A.O Smith, the change is due to raw material cost pressures, particularly for steel, and the loss of a sales contract by a major motor customer. The company expects first quarter earnings to approximate the $0.46 per share earned in the first quarter in 2003.
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