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Standard Motor Product Inc. (SMP - Analyst Report) posted a 20.4% rise in earnings to 59 cents in the second quarter of 2012 from 49 cents in the year-ago quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents. Profits went up 19% to $13.6 million from $11.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues increased 10.2% to $268.9 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $257 million. Owing to the warm summer, sales in the Temperature Control segment were strong in both June and July.

Gross profit improved 10% to $69.3 million or 25.8% of sales from $63.2 million or 25.9% of sales in the second quarter of 2011. Cost of sales increased 10.3% to $199.5 million.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 16.5% to $46.6 million from $40.0 million in the year-ago quarter. However, operating income fell 2.6% to $22.7 million or 8.4% of sales from $23.3 million or 9.5% of sales in the first quarter of 2012.

Revenues from the Engine Management segment augmented 8% to $172.6 million from $159.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The segment gross profit surged 15.7% to $46.3 million or 26.8% of sales from $40.0 million or 25% of sales. Operating profit grew 32.1% to $17.9 million from $13.6 million in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Revenues from the Temperature Control segment improved 16.7% to $93.0 million from $79.7 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Gross profit was $19.9 million or 21.4% of sales compared with $19.6 million or 24.6% of sales. However, operating profits fell 13% to $7.8 million from $8.9 million.

Standard Motors had $9.2 million in cash as of June 30, 2012, down from $10.9 million as of December 31, 2011. Long-term debt of the company was $246 thousand as of June 30, 2012, down from $299 thousand as of December 31, 2011.

The company will be paying a quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share on the outstanding common stock, due on September 4, 2012 to shareholders of record as of August 16, 2012.

Standard Motor, based in Long Island City in New York, was founded in 1919. The company is one of the leading manufacturers, distributors and marketers of automotive replacement parts in the U.S. Further, it enjoys strong brand recognition globally.

Standard Motor is very optimistic about the recent acquisitions of Forecast Trading and Compressor Works. The integration will generate savings by optimizing the product costs and operating expenses, mostly in 2013. However, strong competition from low cost products puts pressure on the company’s margins.

Standard Motor’s competitors include Visteon Corp. (VC - Snapshot Report). Currently, the company retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating.

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