* Q4 adj EPS $0.25 vs est. $0.14
* Revenue rises 68 pct on JV contribution
* Says expects to come up with a more profitable Q1
* Shares rise 5 pct
(Adds conference call and analyst comments, share movement)
BANGALORE, Feb 17 Watsco Inc (WSO.N), a
distributor of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration
products, posted better-than-expected quarterly results, helped
mainly by added revenue from a joint venture.
The company said it expects to come up with a more
profitable first quarter in 2010 as it sees an improvement in
revenue trends, and also helped by aggressive cost reduction.
"But we will wait to give detailed guidance when we have a
better sense of the selling season," Chief Executive Albert
Nahmad said on a conference call with analysts.
The quarter saw the trend of an increase in demand for
higher-efficiency air conditioning systems, which experienced
sales growth of 82 percent during the period, the CEO said.
"We expect this trend to continue, especially as a normal
replacement cycle is restored to historical levels, and pent-up
demand unfolds," Nahmad said.
"The fourth quarter marks the inflection in what we see as
a dramatic compounding earnings growth story over the next
three to give years, unique in an economy characterized by
slower growth," J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Stephen Tusa
wrote in a note.
For the latest fourth quarter, the company posted earnings
of $6.2 million allocated to shareholders, or 21 cents a share,
compared with $2.5 million, or 10 cents a share, in the
Revenue rose 68 percent to $563.6 million, which included
$251 million of sales added by Carrier Enterprise, the joint
venture Watsco formed with Carrier Corp, a unit of United
Technologies Corp (UTX.N).
Watsco owns 60 percent stake in the joint venture that was
formed in July 2009.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 25 cents a share.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings 14 cents a
share, before special items, on revenue of $547.0 million,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Watsco currently operates from 505 locations serving over
50,000 contractor customers.
Shares of the company were up 5 percent at $55.30 in
morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They earlier
touched a high of $56.98.
(Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar