Actuant third quarter profit up 67 percent

Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp. reported fiscal third quarter net earnings of $36.4 million, or 49 cents per share, up from $21.8 million, or 30 cents per share, an increase of 67 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
The diversified manufacturer’s quarterly net sales grew 27 percent to $392.8 million from $310.1 million a year earlier.
Robert Arzbaecher, chairman and chief executive officer of Actuant, said, "Actuant is executing well and delivering terrific results, including another quarter of double digit organic sales growth, margin expansion, higher than expected EPS and healthy cash flow. We reported year-over-year core sales growth in all four segments, with sequential increases in three of the four segments and in excess of 20 percent year-over-year core growth in both Industrial and Energy. Incremental profits on the higher sales led to year-over-year operating margin expansion of 140 basis points and EPS above the top of our guidance range. We generated robust free cash flow and consistent with our business model, deployed it in growth investments, including the acquisition of Weasler just after quarter-end. It was a strong performance quarter by all measures and we expect that momentum to continue into our fourth quarter and next fiscal year."
Looking ahead, Arzbaecher added, "Through the first nine months of fiscal 2011, Actuant has delivered strong financial results while simultaneously investing for future growth. We expect this momentum to continue into the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012. Given our strong third quarter results and the acquisition of Weasler, we have increased our full year fiscal 2011 sales guidance to $1.43-$1.44 billion. Our expectation is that Weasler will be EPS neutral in the fourth fiscal quarter due to one-time transaction costs and purchase accounting charges. However, we have raised our full year EPS guidance to $1.60-$1.65 to take into account current business momentum, including higher than expected third quarter earnings. We continue to forecast free cash flow in the $140-$150 million range for the fiscal year. Bsed on our evaluation of both broad economic indicators and Actuant’s current business trends, we anticipate our businesses will continue to expand in fiscal 2012.”

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