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HB Fuller shares climb on 4Q earnings beat

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of H.B. Fuller hit an all-time high Thursday after the specialty chemical maker reported a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter.

THE SPARK: Excluding one-time items, the St. Paul, Minn.-based company posted an adjusted profit of 64 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 1. Revenue rose 28 percent to $513.3 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected 56 cents per share on $516.2 million in revenue.

The company also projected adjusted 2013 profit of $2.55 to $2.65 per share. Analysts expect $2.65 per share

THE BIG PICTURE: The company completed the acquisition of Forbo Group's industrial adhesives business during the recent quarter. That boosted its revenue. Without contributions from that business, Fuller said its revenue was flat.

THE ANALYSIS: KeyBanc analyst Michael Sison backed his "Buy" rating and $42 price target for the stock, pointing to the strong fourth-quarter profit and attractive growth prospects in the company's sector.

"Fiscal fourth-quarter results confirm our belief that H.B. Fuller's addition of Forbo has positioned the company for strong earnings growth and margin expansion over the next few years," Sison wrote in a note to investors.

THE SHARES: Up $2.49, or 6.8 percent, to $39.13 in heavy afternoon trading, after peaking at $39.47 earlier in the session and easily passing it's a previous all-time high of $37.

Over the past 52 weeks the shares are up about 44 percent.