Actuant earnings down on lower demand

Milwaukee-based Actuant Corp. today reported fiscal 2015 first quarter net earnings of $24.7 million, or 38 cents per share, down from $36.0 million, or 48 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

Revenue was $327.8 million, down from $339.6 million in the same period a year ago.

The Industrial segment posted $102.4 million in sales, up from $98.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. The Energy segment reported $111.5 million in sales, up from $107.9 million a year ago. The Engineered Solutions segment posted $113.8 million in sales, down 14 percent from $133.0 million in 2014’s first quarter.

“Our first quarter results included solid performance from the Energy segment, especially from Viking, which posted its best quarter under Actuant ownership,” said Mark Goldstein, president and chief executive officer. “Conditions in oil and gas markets have deteriorated in the last 60 days, but did not significantly impact our Energy segment in the quarter. Offsetting the strong Energy segment results were sluggish demand in other markets and foreign currency headwinds. We expected difficult comparisons in the Engineered Solutions segment with the prior year’s European truck pre-buy, but demand in most other markets in the Industrial and Engineered Solutions segments didn’t improve. Cash flow in the first quarter reflected normal seasonal weakness, as well as tax payments on fiscal 2014 business divestitures and increased working capital. We used our liquidity to return over $100 million to shareholders in the first quarter in the form of stock buy-backs and our annual cash dividend. Our strong financial position continues to provide great flexibility for Actuant.”

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