Industrial products and systems maker Actuant Corp. (ATU: Quote) reported Wednesday a profit for the third quarter that declined from last year, hurt by debt refinancing charges.
However, both adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations and quarterly revenues topped analysts' expectations by a whisker, reflecting improved margins and revenue growth. The company also adjusted its guidance for the full-year 2012 and initiated forecast for the full-year 2013.
"We are pleased with the results for the third quarter. As expected, our growth rates moderated from the strong pace of the past nine quarters. We delivered financial metrics at the high end of our guidance range even with the impact of foreign currency headwinds," Chairman and CEO Robert Arzbaecher said in a statement.
The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based company reported net earnings of $34.4 million or $0.45 per share for the third quarter, down from $36.36 million or $0.49 per share in the prior-year quarter.
Earnings per share from continuing operations declined to $0.45 from last year's $0.51. Excluding items, adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations grew 18 percent to $0.60 from last year's $0.51.
On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.59 per share for the third quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net Sales for the quarter increased 9 percent to $429.22 million from $392.78 million in the same quarter last year, and topped thirteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $428.96 million by a whisker.
Meanwhile, core sales grew only 4 percent, with acquisitions contributing 8 percent, partially offset by a negative 3 percent impact of the weaker Euro.
On a segmental basis, sales from the industrial segment grew 2 percent, electrical segment sales rose 7 percent, engineered solutions segment sales increased 8 percent, and sales from energy segment improved 24 percent.
"Solid results in the U.S. and in our later cycle businesses such as Energy more than offset some end market softness in Europe and China, highlighting the benefit of our diversity," Arzbaecher noted.
Operating margins for the quarter expanded 100 basis points to 15.8 percent from last year's 14.8 percent.
"As we enter the fourth quarter, we are very pleased with the execution of our business model which is driving record sales, cash flow and EPS, while simultaneously investing for future growth. The moderating trends across our markets are in line with expectations, yet currency translation and European macroeconomic headwinds create uncertainty," Arzbaecher added.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2012, the company now expects earnings in a range of $2.03 to 2.08 per share, on projected sales between $1.60 billion and $1.61 billion. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $2.08 per share on revenues of $1.62 billion for the quarter.
The company was previously looking for fiscal 2012 earnings in the $1.98 to $2.08 per share range, and revenues between $1.600 billion and $1.625 billion.
For fiscal 2013, the company initiated earnings guidance in a range of $2.15 to $2.30 per share, on projected annual sales between $1.665 billion and $1.700 billion, with full-year core sales growth of 3 to 5 percent. Street is currently looking for full-year 2013 earnings of $2.27 per share on revenues of $1.71 billion.
ATU closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $27.45, up $0.78 on a volume of 0.88 million shares, higher than the three-month average volume of 0.70 million shares.
| || |
| To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Actuant Corp. and others in your portfolio|
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com