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Higher operating costs hit quarterly net income at Genuine Parts

Automotive replacement parts distributor Genuine Parts Co.'s net income decreased to $108.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 from $152.5 million in the comparable earlier-year period due to higher operating expenses.

Diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, came in at 73 cents, down from $1.02 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Net sales increased 11% to $4.21 billion for the quarter from $3.78 billion, with the automotive segment contributing $2.33 billion to the total net sales.

The industrial segment reported net sales of $1.24 billion for the fourth quarter, up from $1.15 billion. Business products net sales decreased to $465.6 million from $476.0 million, while the electrical/electronic materials segment rose to $192.6 million from $176.8 million.

Total operating expenses came in at $1.06 billion for the quarter, up from $894.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company's recently acquired Alliance Automotive Group contributed 6.8% to sales and 7 cents diluted EPS during the fourth quarter.

In full-year terms, 2017 net income stood at $616.8 million, or $4.18 per diluted share, down from $687.2 million in 2016, or $4.59 per diluted share.

Genuine Parts expects full-year 2018 diluted EPS to be in the range of $5.60 to $5.75, taking into account the benefit of the Alliance Automotive Group operations and the lower income taxes related to the new U.S. tax law. In the last quarter, the company's 2017 diluted EPS outlook was $4.55 to $4.60.