The Brink's Co. Beats Third Quarter Expectations

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Brink's Co., best known for armored trucks, reported strong operating profits across its divisions in the third quarter, beating Wall Street's expectations by a wide margin.

The Richmond company said Wednesday it had net income of $38.1 million, or 68 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That's down 24 percent from $50 million, or 94 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, mainly because of a $57.3 million gain from the sale of a natural gas business in the 2003 quarter.

After-tax income from continuing operations more than tripled to $37.7 million, of 68 cents per share, in the quarter from $11.5 million, or 22 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales rose about 20 percent to $1.20 billion in the quarter from $999.4 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected the company to post net income of 41 cents per share on revenue of $1.14 billion.

Brink's Chief Executive Michael T. Dan said the company's Brink's Inc. unit, which provides worldwide secured transportation, experienced solid profit growth driven by several international subsidiaries. The home-security division posted record profits as it added customers, while the BAX Global unit benefited from increased shipping volumes, particularly in the Americas, he said.

``Our businesses turned in another solid quarter of improved performance, building on the momentum of earlier in the year,'' Dan said.

For the first nine months of the year, Brink's said its net income jumped 52 percent to $82.5 million, or $1.50 a share, from $54.4 million, or $1.03 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 18 percent to $3.42 billion from $2.89 billion.

The company also said it is continuing its investigation into an overseas business's failure to pay foreign custom duties and taxes on imports.

Initially, Brink's said it could face up to $85 million in civil and criminal penalties, though none has been imposed to date. It has lowered that estimate over time, and now says fines could reach $38 million, though it believes such a large penalty is unlikely.