Paint and coatings maker Valspar Corp. said Monday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed as the company trimmed the cost of sales and research and development expenses.
The Minneapolis-based company's profit after paying preferred dividends rose to $49.9 million, or 49 cents per share. That compares with a profit of $35.6 million, or 35 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Excluding a restructuring charge, adjusted profit totaled 53 cents per share in the latest period.
Revenue fell 16 percent to $776.6 million from $923.2 million. However, the cost of sales tumbled to $498.4 million from $675.2 million, and research and development expenses dipped to $22.9 million from $24.1 million.
Analysts, who typically exclude one-time items from their estimates, predicted profit of 48 cents per share and slightly higher revenue of $783.3 million.
For the year, profit rose to $150.2 million, or $1.49 per share, from $138.6 million, or $1.38 per share. Revenue declined 17 percent to $2.88 billion from $3.48 billion.
"During the year we maintained our investments in branding and development of leading-edge technologies, significantly lowered our cost structure and strengthened our global operations," CEO William L. Mansfield said in a statement.
For 2010, the company forecast adjusted earnings between $1.85 and $2.05, per share, compared with analysts' average estimate of $1.93. Valspar said this guidance assumes modest revenue growth and ongoing pressure on raw material costs.
Shares of the company retreated 95 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close earlier at $26.60.