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Pike Electric Q4 earnings fall on lower storm repair sales



Pike Electric Corp.'s (NYSE:PIKE) fiscal fourth quarter profit dwindled 33 per cent amid a sharp decline in storm repair sales and weakened margins, which masked a rise in total revenue.

The North Carolina-based company offers engineering, installation, repair and maintenance of power delivery systems.

Fourth quarter earnings slumped to $1.4 million or four cents a share, versus $2.1 million or six cents a share, a year-earlier. 

Revenue grew to $178.6 million, up 10 per cent from $162.7 million.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg sought 10 cents a share on $174 million in revenue for the period ended June 30. 

Shares lost 5.54 per cent of their value sliding to $8.35 apiece on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday afternoon.

"Sustained growth in all areas of our engineering and construction business reflects improving demand trends across the U.S.," Pike Electric's chief executive Eric Pike said in a statement. 

"The recent acquisition of UC Synergetic is expected to build on this momentum in core energy solutions and provides us with an engineering platform to serve the communications industry," he added. 

Pike bought UC Synergetic Inc., an engineering and design services company for electric utilities companies, for $70 million.  

Its distribution unit rose 45 per cent to $110.9 million in sales, up from the $76.2 million. Sales from its transmission business grew 25 per cent to $21.7 million.

Revenue from engineering and substation segment jumped 34 per cent to $38.3 million, versus the $28.4 million a year-ago.

However, storm restoration sales slipped to $7.6 million, down 81 per cent from $40.7 million in 2011. 

The higher revenue related to storm repairs came mostly from the massive tornadoes that hit Alabama and Tennessee.

Gross margin narrowed to 12.3 per cent from 14.2 per cent, as the year-ago quarter reported a higher volume of storm restoration activity.


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