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General Cable Corporation (BGC - Snapshot Report) reported first-quarter 2012 earnings per share of 49 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents. The earnings per share were below the prior-year earnings per share of 70 cents.

Excluding the impact of 10 cents per share of non-cash convertible debt interest expense and 11 cents per share of mark-to-market gains on financial derivatives, adjusted non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 48 cents in the quarter.

Total Revenue

Total revenue, on a metal-adjusted basis in the quarter, increased by 7% year over year to $1,432.5 million.

Volume based on metal pounds sold increased 3% year over year, driven by shipment of aerial transmission products globally. Demand improvement in most of North American and European businesses increased volume by 6% sequentially.

Sales volume in North America, measured in terms of metal pounds sold, increased 7% year over year in Europe and in Mediterranean inched down 1% and in ROW climbed 2%.

Income and Expenses

Operating income in the quarter was $53.4 million compared with $31.7 million in the prior-year period. Income in the quarter exceeded the company’s expectation. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $93.8 million compared with $93.9 million.

Balance Sheet

Cash and cash equivalents were $427.1 million at the end of the year, with long-term debt of $944.7 million and shareholders equity of $1.59 billion.

Outlook

The company expects revenue in second-quarter 2012 to be in the range of $1.6 billion to $1.65 billion and operating income to be in the range of $75 million to $85 million. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 65 cents to 75 cents.

For full-year 2012, volume in terms of metal pounds sold is expected to increase in the range of 3%-7% year over year. Operating income is expected to be in the range of $270 million to $300 million, up 9% to 12% year over year. The company expects most of the markets to witness gradual improvement or remain flat.  

Headquartered in Highland Heights, Kentucky, General Cable is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, specialty, and communications markets. The company offers competitive strengths in areas, such as breadth of product line, brand recognition, distribution and logistics, sales and service, and operating efficiency.

General Cable Corporation holds a Zacks #3 rank (short-term Hold recommendation).

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