Actuant falls again on strong dollar

Manufacturing

Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp. today reported first quarter net income of $15.4 million, or 26 cents per share, down from $24.7 million, or 38 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.Manufacturing

Operating income at the global diversified industrial company totaled $25.4 million, down from $38.2 million a year ago.

Revenue was $305 million in the first quarter, down from $327.8 million in the first quarter of 2014.

The company attributed the lower sales entirely to the unfavorable impact of a strong U.S. dollar.

Actuant has struggled in recent quarters as the strong dollar and weak end markets have impacted earnings. During the first quarter, the company recorded $4.4 million in charges incurred from facility exits and staffing reductions as part of an ongoing $25 million restructuring program.

“Our first quarter results exceeded expectations due to strong performance from the Energy segment despite the weak oil & gas environment,” said Robert Arzbaecher, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Sales, excluding currency headwinds, were up nominally on a year-over-year basis which was much better than projected. We saw robust activity in the maintenance-driven Hydratight business, including a large Middle East service job, which offset continued sluggish activity levels in non-energy markets such as agriculture, off-highway, and general industrial. Unfavorable segment mix and significant energy service revenue led to modestly lower incremental margins. We were pleased with first quarter cash flow which reflected improved year-over-year working capital management and lower tax payments. We have an increased confidence in full year guidance even though end-market headwinds remain and the US dollar continues to strengthen. In summary, a great way to begin the year, and I am proud and thankful for the efforts and execution of our employees that delivered these results.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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