UPDATE 2- Columbus Q4 profit tops Street view, shares rise

Thu May 27, 2010 1:14pm EDT

* Q4 adj shr of $0.10 beats est of $0.06

* Q4 rev down more than 9 pct year-over-year

* Sees moderate acceleration in revenue improvement

* Shares up as much as 8 percent (Recasts, adds conf call details, analyst comments, updates share movement)

By Biswarup Gooptu

BANGALORE, May 27 (Reuters) - Columbus McKinnon Corp (CMCO.O) reported an adjusted quarterly profit that beat estimates, helped by increased bookings and stronger performance across segments, as global industrial markets limp back to normalcy.

In a statement, the maker of crane hooks and actuators attributed the latest quarter's performance to a stronger Eurozone capacity utilization, which had been trending higher for the last three quarters, thereby having a positive impact on its monthly bookings.

Needham and Co analyst Theodor Kundtz said, while Columbus has gained market share in Europe, North America and other geographical areas are expected to drive growth going forward.

"Europe was not that strong in terms of growth ... fundamentally, I do not think that the core growth is that strong in Europe. I would expect it to be stronger here in the U.S and also in other international markets," he told Reuters.

In a conference call, Columbus Chief Executive Timothy Tevens said, while U.S. industrial capacity utilization increased to 71.3 percent in April 2010, the company will be focusing on emerging markets such as Brazil, China and Latin America.

FOURTH-QUARTER BEATS WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS:

For the fourth-quarter ended March 31, Columbus posted net income of $460,000, or 2 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $102.5 million, or $5.43 a share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 10 cents a share, topping analysts' estimates of 6 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales dropped more than 9 percent to $123 million, but dwarfed Wall Street's expectations of $121.7 million.

According to Needham's Kundtz while the increase in bookings were gradual, the company's performance was on track with expectations.

However, Columbus remained guarded about its outlook, and said, based on current industrial capacity utilization trends, it expects a moderate acceleration in revenue improvement.

"I have them sequentially building up every quarter. It's just a question of the pace of recovery... I would say that 8 percent to 10 percent revenue growth is an okay number," Kundtz said.

Shares of the Amherst, New York-based company were up 3 percent at $16.46, in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a high of $17.22 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Biswarup Gooptu in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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