UPDATE 3-Ametek sees weak first quarter; shares fall

* Q4 EPS $0.48 vs est $0.47

* Net sales fall 16 pct

* Expects its markets to show modest growth during 2010

* Shares fall 3 pct
(Adds Q1 outlook, analyst comments, updates share movement)

By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

BANGALORE, Jan 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Ametek Inc (AME.N: ) posted
quarterly results that beat market estimates, helped by higher
order rates, but the electronic instruments maker forecast a
weak first quarter.

Analysts said there are concerns about Ametek’s mix of
business being a bit challenging.

The more profitable businesses of the company — such as
aerospace and process instruments — will be slower to recover,
said analyst Richard Eastman of Robert W. Baird.

The late-cycle nature of Ametek’s business is the key
challenge for the company, he added.

The company, which also makes electric motors, expects
first-quarter earnings of about 45 cents to 47 cents a share,
compared with 55 cents a share it reported a year ago.

Ametek expects first-quarter sales to be down mid-single
digits on a percentage basis from $552.9 million in the
year-ago quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 54 cents a
share on revenue of $533.8 million for the first quarter,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Ametek shares fell 3 percent to $36.11 in early trade. They
were down 1 percent at $36.65 Tuesday afternoon on the New York
Stock Exchange.
There is slight disappointment as the forecast is indicative
of a little slower start to 2010 than people were anticipating,
said Eastman, who has a “neutral” rating on the stock.

2010 OUTLOOK

Ametek, which expects its markets to show modest growth in
2010, forecast earnings of $2.10 to $2.20 a share for the year.
It expects revenue to be up low-to-mid single digits on a
percentage basis over last year.

The company, which operates in the United Kingdom, Germany,
Denmark, Italy and France apart from the United States, had
$2.1 billion in sales for 2009.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $2.18 a
share on revenue of $2.15 billion for 2010.

“Energy customers and large energy projects are being slow
to get going and that could affect their (Ametek’s) business,”
analyst Ned Borland of Next Generation Equity Research said.

Q4 TOPS STREET

For the fourth quarter, the company’s net income was $51.9
million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $43.8 million, or
41 cents a share, a year ago.

Net sales for the company, whose key customers are Boeing
Co (BA.N: ) and Airbus (EAD.PA: ), fell 16 percent to $523.5
million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 47 cents a
share on revenue of $513.1 million for the quarter. Orders rose
4 percent to $577 million in the fourth quarter.

Investment Analysis

(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by
Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

UPDATE 3-Ametek sees weak first quarter; shares fall