Danaher Corp.'s (DHR) fourth-quarter earnings rose 78%, topping the company's own estimates, as sales improved, margins surged and the company saw increased restructuring costs in the prior quarter.

The diversified tool manufacturer--which makes Craftsman-brand tools for Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD and Husky wrenches for Home Depot Inc. (HD)--has been relying on acquisitions to bolster a slow growing revenue base, ratcheting up purchases this year and focusing its efforts on medical technology, testing and measurement and dental equipment, among other things.

The company last week agreed to buy EskoArtwork, a graphic-arts company that produces prepress software and hardware, for EUR350 million, or about $470 million at the time.

Danaher reported a profit of $473.9 million, or 69 cents a share, up from $266.9 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as restructuring- and acquisition-related costs and tax-related items, earnings rose to 67 cents from 56 cents.

In December, the company raised its earnings view to 64 cents to 66 cents, pointing to expanded margins and better exposure to emerging markets.

Revenue jumped 15% to $3.61 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast $3.49 billion in revenue.

Gross margin rose to 51% from 45.9%.

Shares closed at $47.30 Wednesday and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 28% the past year.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires