Actuant earnings down

Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp. reported fiscal first quarter net earnings of $36 million, or 48 cents per share, down from $36.3 million, or 49 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

For the quarter ended November 30, net sales were $339.5 million, up from $307.8 million in the same period a year ago.

“Actuant’s first quarter results met our expectations for sales, earnings and cash flow,” said Robert Arzbaecher, chairman and chief executive officer. “Strong core sales growth of 5 percent was due to significantly higher activity in the Engineered Solutions segment, while Industrial and Energy continued to experience cautious spending patterns by customers. Margins improved in both Industrial and Engineered Solutions, however, Energy experienced the collective impact of unfavorable mix and inefficiencies which we are actively working to address. Our first quarter free cash flow was strong, and we utilized $15 million of it for share buy-backs in the quarter. With the recent proceeds from the divestiture of the Electrical segment, our financial position is very strong and provides substantial capital for future growth.”

The diversified industrial company’s December 13 sale of its electrical segment for $258 million will appear in fiscal second quarter results.

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