Acquisition costs, lack of snow hurt Douglas Dynamics earnings

Executives say results match expectations

snow plow
Douglas Dynamics makes vehicle attachments such as plows.

A lack of snowfall and increased interest expenses cut into first quarter earnings for Milwaukee-based Douglas Dynamics Inc., but company executives said the results were generally within expectation and affirmed their guidance for the remainder of the year.

snow plow
Douglas Dynamics makes vehicle attachments such as plows.

“The drivers of our business remain encouraging and we feel comfortable reaffirming our outlook for the year. We expect 2017 will be an important year of execution and we are off to a positive start in that respect,” said James Janik, Douglas Dynamics chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The company, which is a manufacturer and upfitter of work truck attachments and equipment, reported a net loss of $3.3 million, or 14 cents per diluted share. During the same period last year the company had a $5.3 million profit, or 23 cents per share. Last year’s result also included a $10 million benefit from a patent infringement lawsuit.

Interest expenses increased from $2.9 million last year to $5.3 million, primarily from $130 million borrowing from the acquisition of Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment. The company also reported $900,000 in interest expense from refinancing its term loan credit agreement, a move expected to result in $2 million in annual cash savings.

The Dejana acquisition did boost the topline results for Douglas Dynamics, pushing revenue up 48.1 percent to $72.3 million.

“Overall, snowfall was inconsistent both in location and timing,” Janik said, adding that non-snowfall indicators like truck sales and dealer sentiment were trending in the right direction.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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