Hubbell Inc., Orange, Conn., said its first-quarter profit rose 16 percent. Net income for the three months ending March 31 rose to $48.4 million from $41.7 million in the year-earlier period. The company's revenue rose to $627.9 million from $625.7 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $652 million.
“Overall sales were relatively flat due to weakness in certain of our markets, particularly residential, that were offset by the benefit of recent acquisitions and selling price increases,” said Timothy Powers, the company's CEO. “Selling price increases were implemented to counter the rising cost of materials and resulted in incremental sales of approximately 1 percent to 2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2007. Despite a sharp increase in commodity costs during the first quarter, including steel, aluminum, copper and fuel costs, we were able to effectively manage the commodity cost price equation.”
Cooper Industries Ltd., Houston, said its first-quarter profit rose 16 percent. Net income for the quarter ended in March rose to $153.4 million from $131.9 million. Revenue improved 11 percent to $1.55 billion from $1.39 billion.
Revenue for Cooper's Electrical Products segment rose 12 percent. The increase in revenue for this segment reflects continued strength in the industrial and energy markets, with international market initiatives providing further growth for the first quarter of 2008. The continued softness in the U.S. residential markets partially offset the segment's overall revenue growth. Revenues and earnings were also impacted by the loss of a large distribution center from a tornado, the company said.
WESCO Distribution Inc., Pittsburgh, earned $44.8 million in the first quarter, compared with profit of $48.2 million in the first quarter last year. Sales for the first quarter increased to $1.47 billion from $1.45 billion. Chief Financial Officer Stephen A. Van Oss said in a press release the company “posted solid results for the first quarter despite a challenging economic environment.” Roy Haley, WESCO's chairman and CEO, said the company has seen some deterioration in certain markets related to residential construction. “We are cognizant of the near-term risks of a slowing economy, and we are balancing the increased investment in business development initiatives with cost containment actions in other areas of our business,” he said.