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Armstrong World 4Q adj. profit tops Street's view

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) -- Armstrong World Industries Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income declined slightly, due to a higher tax rate and some charges. Its adjusted results and revenue topped Wall Street's expectations.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the floors and ceiling manufacturer earned $8.4 million, or 14 cents per share. That compares with earnings of $8.5 million, or 14 cents per share, in the 2011 fourth quarter.

Taking out restructuring charges and other items, the company said it earned 34 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 32 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue dipped 2 percent to $612.8 million from $623 million, hampered by unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and absent a contribution from the Patriot wood flooring distribution business — which was sold during the third quarter.

Wall Street forecast revenue of $611.9 million.

Full-year net income climbed 17 percent to $131.3 million, or $2.19 per share, from $112.4 million, or $1.90 per share, for all of 2011.

Annual revenue fell 4 percent to $2.62 billion from $2.72 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Mangas said in a statement that the company's 2013 guidance is still cautious given current economic conditions and the delay between housing starts and when its products are installed.

Armstrong anticipates 2013 adjusted earnings between $2.30 and $2.60 per share, on revenue in a range of $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion.

Analysts, on average, expect full-year earnings of $2.89 per share on revenue of $2.72 billion.

The Lancaster, Pa. company foresees first-quarter revenue between $600 million and $650 million.

Armstrong had 32 plants in eight countries as of Dec. 31. Shares closed Friday at $56.23, up about 11 percent since the start of the year.