Belden Inc. reported net income in its fourth fiscal quarter ended December 31 of $6.4 million or 26 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $204.8 million. In the year-ago quarter, Belden earned $16.2 million or 66 cents per share on sales of $309.9 million.
The St. Louis supplier of cabling and networking products reduced its debt by $22.5 million in the quarter and $37.9 million during the year, bringing the ratio of debt to total capitalization to 42.8% from 48.7% a year ago. Net cash from operations was $20.3 million in the quarter and $72.7 million for the year.
Sales, though, are still weak in both Belden's electronics and communications segments. Electronics segment sales for the fourth quarter were $141.9 million, down 33.1% from $212.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2000 and down 5% sequentially from the third quarter.
In the communications sector, fourth-quarter revenue was $65.5 million, 37.7% less than the $104.9 million in the year-ago quarter and 28.8% less than the previous quarter.
In response to those conditions, Belden reduced staffing from 6,000 at the beginning of 2001 to 5,000 at the end of the year, and expects to further reducing staffing in Europe and the U.S. beginning this month, taking a $3 million pretax charge in the first quarter of 2002.
For the 2001 fiscal year, Belden earned $31 million or $1.25 per share, down from $52.8 million or $2.14 per share in 2000. Revenues were $940 million, down 17.2% from $1.1 billion the prior year.
Belden expects its first quarter revenues to be down slightly from fourth-quarter levels, with earnings ranging from a 5 cent per share loss to breakeven due to the restructuring charges.