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Rollins 4Q net income up 6 pct on customer growth

ATLANTA (AP) -- Rollins Inc., which operates Orkin, Crane Pest Control and other exterminator services, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income rose 6 percent as it added new customers.

The company, which is based in Atlanta, earned $22.9 million, or 16 cents per share, in the three months through Dec. 31. That's up from $21.6 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. But analysts expected slightly more — a profit of 17 cents, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $306.4 million from $289.1 million, as the company added new customers and held on better to its existing customers. Wall Street predicted $304.3 million.

Shares dropped 43 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $23.86 in morning trading.

For 2012, Rollins earned $111.3 million, or 76 cents per share, up from $100.7 million, or 69 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $1.27 billion from $1.21 billion.

Separately on Wednesday, the company said that CEO Gary Rollins will take on the additional role of vice chairman.

In addition, John Wilson was promoted to president and chief operating officer and will stand for election to the board at the company's annual shareholder meeting in April. Wilson most recently served as president of Orkin USA.

Rollins shares were flat at $24.29 in afternoon trading.