Cooper expresses cautious optimism on construction in 2012

In unveiling its 2011 results, including Q4 sales of $1.37 billion (up 9.0%), Cooper Industries also revealed some optimism—hedged just a bit, but not reluctant—in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Kirk Hachigian, chairman and CEO, answered a question about the construction market by saying, “I don’t see anything getting worse. And so, I think that’s the first time maybe in 2 years, on the construction side you can almost say that. I see housing getting better; no question that we’re seeing some benefits on that side of it.

“And then, I think there’s lending—on the local board of the Federal Reserve. I mean there’s some things going on, on lending that would give you some optimism and there’s some other conditions that you’d sort of believe are turning a little bit more favorable. But I still think it’s early to predict a rebound on the non-res side on the construction.

“So built into our model next year [editor’s note: 2012], you still have retrofit. You still have the growth in LED and energy efficiency and lighting controls, but I just—it’s still a little early for us to predict that you’re going to actually see end market growth on non-res.”

Cooper’s Q4 saw “core revenue growth” up 4.7%, acquisitions adding 4.5%—with a small (0.2%) decrease credited to currency exchange. For the year, company sales of $5.4 billion were up 6.8%.

Hachigian said, “Our new product vitality, which represents revenues from sales of products developed in the last three years, was a record 29% of total revenue and our percentage of sales derived from outside the United States reached a record 40%.”

Tagged with

Comment on the story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *