Spartan Motors 4Q income rises on increased sales

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) -- Spartan Motors Inc., which makes vehicle chassis for fire trucks, RVs and other vehicles, said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net income rose on increased sales of service and delivery vehicles, parts and specialty vehicles.

The Charlotte, Mich., company said it made $3.4 million in the quarter, or 10 cents per share, reversing a loss of $413,000, or a penny per share, in the same period of 2009. Revenue rose 31.4 percent to $126.9 million.

The performance beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $120.8 million.

Shares of Spartan Motors fell 49 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $7.04 in trading Tuesday.

For the full year, Spartan reported net income of $4.1 million, or 13 cents per share, down from the previous year's $11.8 million, or 36 cents per share. Revenue, however, grew 17 percent to $480.7 million.

The company has been restructuring since the second half of 2009 and continued into last year.

"Although we have already begun to see positive financial and operating results from those actions, we are even more optimistic about the opportunities and longer-term growth potential that we have," President and CEO John Sztykiel said in a statement.

However, the company said in a statement that its order backlog fell to $134.5 million, "reflecting the challenging market conditions the company will face in the first half of 2011."

Some of the decrease came from orders made last year ahead of stricter 2010 pollution control regulations, the company said. It also said market conditions in the emergency response and defense businesses remain challenging.

"Fortunately, the numerous growth opportunities we have been pursuing will favorably impact our 2011 backlog as we go through the year," Spartan said in the statement.

Published: Thu, Feb 17, 2011