Florida Rock 4Q profit rises

Florida Rock 4Q profit rises
Published: 30 November 2006

Florida Rock Industries Inc, said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit grew 14 per cent as higher product prices and a lower tax rate helped offset a weaker residential construction market. 
Quarterly net income rose to $53.3m, or 80 cents per share, from $46.5
m, or 69 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose to $326.6m from $320.8m. Total sales, including freight revenue, grew to $336.5m from $328.5m
Wall Street, on average, had been expecting a quarterly profit of 75 cents per share on sales of $353.2 million. 
During the quarter, the company said the average price of its cement tons rose to $103.76 from $91.10 in the year-ago period, while ready-mix yards grew to $100.31 from $86.17. That helped offset declines in volumes, as the company saw substantial declines in the residential construction market during the last four months of the fiscal year. 
Also aiding the company during the quarter was a lower effective income tax rate. 
For the full fiscal year, the company reported net income of $211.4 million, or $3.16 per share, up from $157.7 million, or $2.36 per share, in the prior-year period. Net sales grew to $1.33bn from $1.13bn, while total sales rose to $1.37bn from $1.15bn. 
Looking ahead, the company said the residential construction market shows "significant weakness," but it sees improvement in highway construction opportunities from the prior year.