Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LECO) today released its fourth quarter and full year 2017 results, with net income of $24.2 million, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.36. Reported EPS includes special item after-tax charges of $43.3 million or $0.65 EPS. Excluding these items, fourth quarter adjusted net income was $67.5 million, or adjusted EPS of $1.01, as compared with $53.4 million or adjusted EPS of $0.81 in the comparable 2016 period.
According to the report, Fourth Quarter 2017 sales increased 32.5% to $747.2 million, in which, 20.3% was from acquisitions, 6.8% from higher volumes, 3.2% from increase in price and 2.2% from favorable impact from foreign exchange. Operating income of this quarter was $75.5 million which was 10.1% of sales, decreased 9.1% compared to fourth quarter of 2016, since acquisitions had an unfavorable 180 basis point impact to the 2017 adjusted operating income margin.
Full year report of 2017 showed that net income of 2017 was $247.5 million, or EPS of $3.71, as compared with net income of $198.4 million, or EPS of $2.91, in the prior year. Adjusted net income for 2017 was $252.7 million, or adjusted EPS of $3.79, compared with adjusted net income of $224.5 million, or adjusted EPS of $3.29, in 2016. Sales increased 15.4% to $2.6 billion from an 8.0% benefit from acquisitions, 4.2% higher volumes, a 2.4% increase in price and a 0.8% favorable impact foreign exchange.
Operating income was $377.7 million, or 14.4% of sales, as compared with $288.3 million, or 12.7% of sales, in the comparable 2016 period. On an adjusted basis, operating income was $362.4 million or 13.8% of sales, as compared with $322.6 million, or 14.2% of sales in 2016. Acquisitions had an unfavorable 90 basis point impact to the 2017 adjusted operating income margin.
"We generated solid organic growth across all business segments, key product areas, and geographies in the fourth quarter," said Christopher L. Mapes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, "We have strong momentum heading into 2018 and are positioned for accelerated growth and superior value creation from our ongoing strategic initiatives."