Standard Motor rises on 4Q results, dividend boost

Shares of Standard Motor get a boost from improved 4th-qtr results, dividend increase

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Standard Motor Products Inc. hit their highest point in nearly two decades Monday, after the auto parts maker reported an increase in adjusted fourth-quarter profit and announced plans to boost its dividend and buy back more of its stock.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the New York-based company earned $5.9 million, or 26 cents per share, down 80 percent from $29.3 million, or $1.28 per share, in the final three months of 2011.

The 2011 quarter included a tax-related benefit of $24.3 million. Excluding that and other one-time items, the company's profit rose to an adjusted 28 cents from an adjusted 17 cents per share.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $192.4 million from $174.2 million, mainly as a result of contributions from recent acquisitions.

For the full year, Standard Motor earned $41.4 million, or $1.79 per share, down from $62.4 million, or $2.70 per share, for all of 2011. Revenue rose to $948.9 million from $874.6 million.

Citing the improved financial results, the company boosted its dividend by 2 cents to 11 cents and announced it would buy back additional $6 million in common stock. The company currently has $864,000 left under its previous authorization.

Shares of Standard Motor rose $1.11, or 4.4 percent, to $26.13 in afternoon trading, after peaking at $26.86 earlier in the session. That was the highest point the stock has touched since January 1994, according to FactSet.

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