Genuine Parts Company Updates 2008 Sales and Earnings Expectations
Announces Dividend Increase for 53rd Consecutive Year
ATLANTA, January 23, 2009: Genuine Parts Company announced today that it now expects full year 2008 sales to increase approximately 2% compared to fiscal 2007, and anticipates reporting diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.85 to $2.90. This range includes a charge of approximately $0.07 per diluted share related to the reduced investment value in the Company's retirement plan. The Company previously expected full year 2008 sales to increase approximately 3% compared to fiscal 2007 and earnings per share to fall in the range of $3.12 to $3.18. Genuine Parts expects to release final fourth quarter and full year 2008 results on February 17, 2009.
Thomas C. Gallagher, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The fourth quarter of 2008 proved to be challenging for our Company. As we progressed through the quarter, demand began to significantly weaken across all our business segments, reflecting the effects of reduced consumer spending, declining industrial production and capacity utilization and higher unemployment. Towards this end, we are taking the necessary steps to adjust the expense side of our business, while continuing to pursue all revenue opportunities."
Mr. Gallagher concluded, "The near term economic conditions have our full attention. However, the underlying fundamentals in each of our businesses remain positive and we believe that current efforts to improve our operating performance will further strengthen our market leadership position. Our balance sheet remains strong and the Company continues to generate solid cash flows, providing us with many opportunities across our diversified platform. In addition, we remain committed to maximizing our return to shareholders via increasing our cash dividend and opportunistically repurchasing shares of our common stock."
The Company is currently in the process of finalizing its results for fiscal 2008 and, as such, there can be no assurance that actual sales and diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2008 will not be different from the expectations disclosed in this release.
Dividends Increased for 2009
In additional news, the Board of Directors of Genuine Parts Company declared an increase of approximately 3% in the regular quarterly cash dividend for 2009. The Board increased the cash dividend payable to an annual rate of $1.60 per share compared with the previous dividend of $1.56 per share. The quarterly cash dividend of forty cents ($.40) per share is payable April 1, 2009 to shareholders of record March 6, 2009. GPC has paid a cash dividend every year since going public in 1948 and 2009 marks the 53rd consecutive year of increased dividends paid to shareholders.