Actuant earnings fall on strong dollar, weaker demand

Actuant is rebranding as Enerpac Tool Group
The Actuant headquarters in Menomonee Falls. The company is rebranding as Enerpac Tool Group

Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp. today reported fourth quarter net income of $22.1 million, or 37 cents per share, down from $35.6 million, or 51 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The Actuant headquarters in Menomonee Falls.
The Actuant headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Operating profit at the global diversified industrial company totaled $28.8 million, down from $61.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $300.4 million in the fourth quarter, down from $354.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company blamed a strong U.S. dollar for about half of its 15 percent sales decline year-over-year.  The rest of the drop was attributed to weakened end markets in the energy, agricultural and general industrial sectors.

“Our focus remains on tightly managing costs while continuing to fund our best growth initiatives across the businesses,” said Robert Arzbaecher, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “On the cost front, we again achieved a year-over-year percentage reduction in (selling, administrative and engineering) expense greater than the decline in revenues. However, gross profit and operating margins in the fourth quarter were down due to the adverse impact of lower production and absorption levels associated with inventory destocking, approximately $3 million of downsizing costs, unfavorable sales mix, and negative purchase price variances driven by the stronger U.S. dollar. We were especially pleased with the strong fourth quarter cash flow which drove our 15th consecutive year of free cash flow conversion of net earnings in excess of 100 percent, which provides the fuel for future business growth.

“Given our expectations of continued sluggish demand in fiscal 2016, we are undertaking actions to further simplify our business and rationalize the cost structure. This will position Actuant for stronger profitable growth as end market demand improves. We expect fiscal 2016 to be a transformative year for Actuant and I am excited to be able to launch these important actions to help achieve our vision.”

For the full year, Actuant reported net income of $19.9 million, or 32 cents per share, down from $163.6 million, or $2.26 per share, in 2014.

Its 2015 operating profit was $53.6 million, down from $203.1 million last year.

And full-year revenue totaled $1.2 billion, down from $1.4 billion in 2014.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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