Standex moves to profit in 4Q

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- Standex International Corp. posted a profit for its fiscal fourth quarter, despite mixed sales results around the globe.

The equipment manufacturing company, based in Salem, N.H., said Friday that increased demand from fast-food restaurant chains offset weaker demand from drugstores and dollar stores.

The company also said that the economic woes overseas hurt demand from its grocery clients in the U.K. and its beverage-dispensing customers in Europe. However, increasing demand for its automotive program mold texturizing work in Europe and China offset weakness in North America during the quarter.

Standex earned $11 million, or 86 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That's compared with a net loss of $4.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same quarter of the prior year. On an adjusted basis, it earned 92 cents per share versus 83 cents per share last year from continuing operations. Its revenue increased to $168.6 million from $154.9 million, with a boost from a recent acquisition.

The company said it plans to introduce new products, reach new markets to help increase its market share as it expects overall demand will remain somewhat sluggish. It also said that it has a pipeline of potential acquisition candidates that will consider.

Standex President and CEO Roger Fix said that while there may be short-term challenges in some of its end markets, the company is confident that it has the right strategy to grow sales, increase profits and generate long-term shareholder value.

Shares rose 68 cents to $57.33 in afternoon trading on low-volume, matching broader market trends. The company's shares are near the high end of their 52-week trading range of $35.58 to $57.61.