Actuant caps fiscal year with strong quarter

Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp. today reported fiscal fourth quarter net earnings of $58.3 million, or 78 cents per share, up from a net loss of $16.5 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s quarterly net sales grew to $327.3 million from $322.4 million a year earlier.

During the year, Actuant completed the acquisition of Viking SeaTech for approximately $235 million, adding capabilities serving the deep water oil and gas market. Actuant also repurchased 1.3 million common shares in fiscal 2013 for $42 million, including 0.8 million shares for $28 million in the fourth quarter. 

Robert Arzbaecher, chairman and chief executive officer of Actuant, said, “We were pleased to finish the year in line with our expectations, with continued sequential core sales improvement, year-over-year margin and EPS growth, and record free cash flow. Consolidated fourth quarter core sales were flat, as overall demand continued to reflect economies around the world struggling to find steady growth. Excluding approximately $0.04 of Viking related acquisition costs and a favorable tax adjustment, fourth quarter EPS of $0.50 increased 4 percent on a year-over-year basis on improved margins, partially offset by a higher effective tax rate. In the quarter, we demonstrated our continued ability to operate in a stagnant market environment and deliver earnings growth, while still making strategic investments to drive the company’s long-term growth strategy.”

Arzbaecher will retire as Actuant CEO in January.

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