UPDATE 2-Knoll Q4 beats Wall Street, shares up

Fri Feb 4, 2011 12:20pm EST

* Q4 adj EPS $0.26 vs est $0.22

* Q4 revenue up 30 pct to $239.8 mln

* Backlog rises 29 pct

* Sees steel price, Canadian dollar pressure margins

* Shares up as much as 17 pct

(Adds conference call details, updates share movement)

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Knoll Inc's (KNL.N) quarterly results beat Wall Street on strong sales of its 'Generation by Knoll' work chairs, sending its shares up as much as 17 percent, but the office furniture maker said rising commodity prices and a strong Canadian dollar could dent full-year margins.

Orders for the company's best-selling 'Generation by Knoll' work chairs rose 72 percent in the quarter, mainly from commercial customers.

"Innovative new designs drove better-than-industry growth and the highest operating margins and backlog since the end of 2008," CEO Andrew Cogan said in a statement.

Knoll and its peers Steelcase Inc (SCS.N) and Herman Miller (MLHR.O) are seeing signs of recovery, as they reported quarterly results above Street, after being hit by weak demand and corporate downsizing in the economic downturn.

According to a U.S. Labor Department report, 115,000 white-collar jobs were added to the private sector in December, up from 84,000 in November.

Backlog as of Dec. 31 rose about 29 percent to $196.6 million as government orders increased in the second half.

It expects substantial government shipments to continue into the first quarter. Greenville, Pennsylvania-based Knoll's fourth-quarter sales in Europe outpaced that in North America.

Q4 BEATS STREET

Excluding items, the company earned 26 cents a share. [ID: nASA01I89]

The company's shares, which jumped as much as 17 percent, pared some gains to trade up 13 percent at $19.20 on Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

The stock has gained 6 percent in value since the company reported third-quarter results on Oct. 15. (Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair, Vyas Mohan)