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US Silica Holdings 4Q profit more than doubles

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income more than doubled, buoyed by significantly higher revenue from the oil and gas segment.

The commercial silica producer also provided a first-quarter revenue forecast above Wall Street's expectations. Its stock jumped nearly 14 percent in morning trading.

Silica Holdings earned $21.8 million, or 41 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That's up sharply from $10 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

This easily beat the 32 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue rose 42 percent to $118.8 million from $83.6 million, topping Wall Street's $108.5 million revenue estimate.

Shares of Silica Holdings rose $2.55, or 13.9 percent, to $20.90. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $9.02 to $22.14.

Oil and gas unit revenue surged to $70.9 million from $37.8 million. Revenue for the industrial and specialty products division climbed to $47.9 million from $45.9 million.

For the year, Silica Holdings earned $79.2 million, or $1.50 per share. In the prior year the company earned $30.3 million, or 61 cents per share.

Annual revenue increased 50 percent to $441.9 million from $295.6 million.

The company foresees first-quarter revenue of about $115 million to $123 million, above analyst predictions of $114.1 million.

Silica Holdings also processes ground and unground silica sand for a variety of industrial and specialty products end markets such as glass, fiberglass, foundry molds, municipal filtration and recreational uses.