SPX income soars on sale of electrical unit; revenue down

First-quarter net income surged for Charlotte-based SPX Corp., due largely to the diversified manufacturer selling its interest in a St. Louis-based electrical group.

SPX reported Wednesday its net income for the first quarter rose to $318.2 million, or $7.19 per share, compared with $8.7 million, or 19 cents per share during the same time period a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter declined to $1.07 billion, down 1.9 percent from $1.09 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported gaining $491.2 million on selling its minority interest in EGS Electrical Group in St. Louis.

“Building off our strong finish to 2013, we had a positive start to this year with solid year-over-year margin expansion in the first quarter driving better than expected earnings,” said president and CEO Chris Kearney.

Kearney said the company has made progress on strategic initiatives, including completing about $200 million of a $500 million share repurchase program. SPX also recently raised its annual dividend 50 percent, to $1.50 per share, Kearney said.

SPX makes a wide range of equipment, including food and beverage systems, electricity and vehicle services, and power transformers for utility companies. The Fortune 500 company operates globally with more than 14,000 employees.