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What: Shares of Steelcase (NYSE: SCS ) were looking stronger today, gaining as much as 16% after an impressive fourth-quarter earnings report.
So what: The office furniture maker delivered a profit of $0.18 per share against expectations of $0.17, while revenue improved 8%, to $779.4 million, beating estimates at $773.8 million. Performance in the Americas was particularly strong as sales grew 13.3%, helping to lift gross margin 100 basis points, to 31.4%. Its Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, however, saw organic sales fall 13%, though its strong performance at home was enough to offset that decline.
Now what: The results were enough to get Steelcase an upgrade to strong buy from outperform from Raymond James on its solid earnings and outlook, as well as "exciting new product introductions." Steelcase also saw a significant improvement in backlog in the quarter, which rose 18% in the Americas, and 26% in its EMEA region, indicating a recovery across the Atlantic. For the current quarter, it sees a per-share profit of $0.14-$0.17, in line with estimates of $0.16, while its revenue projection of $715 to $740 million was better than the consensus at $699.8 million.
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