MSA reports increased net income, sales in fourth quarter

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Shares of MSA jumped in early trading today after the Cranberry safety products company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

Net income totalled $25.4 million, or 67 cents per share vs. earnings of $19.5 million, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 3 percent to $291.4 million.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting earnings of 66 cents per share and sales of $290 million.

In a prepared statement, president and CEO William M. Lambert said the company was hurt by continuing federal government delays in approving new breathing equipment MSA makes for firefighters. Sales to U.S. fire service customers fell $5 million in the quarter. The decline was offset by a $2 million increase in head protection gear and a $5 million increase in gas detection products, Mr. Lambert said.

Earnings for all of 2013 fell 3 percent to $88.2 million, or $2.34 per share. Sales were flat at $1.11 billion. In 2012, MSA reported net income of $90.6 million, or $2.42 per share.

Shortly before 10 a.m., MSA shares were trading at $52.54, up $3.59.

Len Boselovic: or 412-263-1941.

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