Yet again, the former CEO of Tyco (NYSE:TYC), Dennis Kozlowski, was on trial yesterday. The topic? The allegation that he used company funds to buy a $30 million apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York.

The new CEO of Tyco, Ed Breen, is not thinking of buying high-priced apartments. He has more mundane issues to work out -- like growing Tyco.

Yesterday, Tyco announced its earnings results. In the fourth quarter, the company posted net income of $709 million, or $0.33 per share, a bit lower than the $719 million, or $0.34 cents per share, earned over the same period in 2003. During the quarter, sales increased 4.1% to $10.1 billion.

Basically, Breen needed to handle some more cleanup. There was a charge of $18 million for various divestitures, a $156 million charge for early retirement of debt, and roughly $32 million for dumping some business units. Tyco's stock fell $1.63 to $34.51 upon that news. Then again, the 52-week high is $36.58.

In a way, Tyco is like a mini-GE (NYSE:GE). It's a diversified global conglomerate with five business segments: fire and security, electronics, health care, engineered products and services, and plastics and adhesives.

True, these are mostly mature industries. Then again, they produce significant cash flows. For example, in the fourth quarter, Tyco generated $475 million in free cash flow.

And expect the cash to keep rolling in. Tyco estimates that free cash flow will be roughly $4.5 billion in 2005.

So, with the return of mega-mergers -- SBC (NYSE:SBC) and AT&T (NYSE:T), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Gillette (NYSE:G), and on and on -- should we expect the same from Tyco? Not a chance. Instead, the company will make smaller acquisitions, with price tags in the $500 million range. The focus will be on Tyco's growth areas: health care and electronics. So, with the free cash flow, chances are Tyco will keep increasing its dividend and buying back stock -- and that, no doubt, should allow for continued support of the stock in 2005.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.