Amcol International posts 4 pct drop in 4Q profit

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- Gains in Amcol International Corp.'s energy services division were not strong enough offset declines in its other businesses, and the company reported a 4 percent profit drop for the fourth quarter.

The minerals producer also said it must restate results for several years after finding some faulty accounting.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Amcol posted net income of $12.1 million, or 37 cents per share, down from $12.6 million, or 39 cents per share, in the 2011 fourth quarter.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $239.1 million, from $233.8 million in the 2011 period.

Those figures fell short of Wall Street expectations. Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 44 cents per share, on revenue of $242.4 million, according to FactSet.

Amcol said its strongest unit was energy services, where revenue grew 34 percent to $71.8 million, driven by higher demand for its well testing and other services, and several new large contracts in its Malaysian operations.

"Based on feedback from our key customers, the outlook for water treatment, well testing, and coiled tubing services in geographic areas where we are active remains strong," CEO Ryan McKendrick said in a statement.

Results were not as good in other units. Sales in its performance materials segment decreased 5 percent to $114.6 million, reflecting lower demand for specialty minerals used in fabric care and pet products. The company said it does not expect a significant rebound in either of these product lines through 2013.

Revenue in its construction technologies segment fell nearly 8 percent, to $50.1 million, reflecting volume declines in lining technology for landfills and other industries in both the U.S. and Europe. Drilling product sales also declined, but the company said it saw sales and profitability gains for its U.S. building materials products.

Amcol also said its audit committee has determined that its financial statements for 2009, 2010, 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 need to be restated because of errors related to its construction technologies segment's European operations

The revisions will result in a reduction in net income for 2009 of $1.6 million, in 2010 of $1.7 million and in 2011 of $1 million.

For the first quarter of 2012, the revisions will add $1.3 million to the company's profit.

The company also said it reevaluated the effectiveness of its internal controls over financial reporting as a result of the discovery, and concluded that for 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, it had a "material weakness" relating to the unit's operations.

Amcol will file plans to remediate this issue with its amended financial statements.

The company also said it is likely that it will consolidate and restructure some of its businesses this year, and forecast restructuring charges this year will be in the range of $3 million to $5 million. It did not offer an earnings forecast for the year.

Amcol shares lost $1.15, or 3.4 percent, to $32.73 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $25.93 and $36.28 in the past 52 weeks.