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Genuine Parts 4Q profit rises after pension freeze

ATLANTA (AP) -- Genuine Parts, an auto and industrial parts distributor, said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income climbed 19 percent as its performance was bolstered by plans to freeze its pension plan.

The Atlanta company earned $160.2 million, or $1.03 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. A year earlier, it earned $135 million, or 86 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 93 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Genuine Parts said that in December its pension plan was amended, freezing future benefit accruals for all participants as of Dec. 31. The changes resulted in a one-time gain of $23.5 million during the quarter.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $3.12 billion from $3.01 billion, with increased sales from the automotive unit, industrial group and office products group. Sales slipped in its electrical and electronic materials segment.

Wall Street expected higher revenue of $3.19 billion. The company said revenue results reflected slowing industry trends across its businesses as the year progressed.

For the year, Genuine Parts Co. earned $648 million, or $4.14 per share. In 2011, the company earned $565.1 million, or $3.58 per share.

Annual revenue climbed 4 percent to $13.01 billion from $12.46 billion.

In morning trading, Genuine Parts shares slid $1.86, or 2.6 percent, to $69.58.