Record year for GPC

SP Richards’ (SPR) parent company Genuine Parts Company (GPC) has reported record results for 2004, boosted by improved economic conditions in its industrial/electronic groups.

The company reported earnings of $96.3 million, or EPS of $0.55, up from $86.7 million, or EPS of $0.50, a year ago. Sales went up 8 per cent to $2.25 billion from $2.09 billion a year ago.

SPR again performed well, reporting sales of $1.54 billion up from $1.457 billion in 2004.

But despite the positive results, GPC shares fell $1.59 in the following day’s trading on the NYSE, after Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock value. The analyst group confirmed however that the rating action "did not reflect any concern about GPCs fundamentals".

In other news, the company named Tom Gallagher, president and CEO, to the additional position of chairman.