Badger Meter posts record profit, revenue in 2Q

D-Flow acquisition helps overcome customer order delays

Badger Meter Inc. headquarters
Badger Meter Inc.'s headquarters in Brown Deer.

It wasn’t by much, but Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. reported an all-time record for revenue in the second quarter, topping the previous mark set during the same period last year.

Badger Meter Inc. headquarters
Badger Meter Inc.’s headquarters in Brown Deer.

The maker of water meters reported almost $104.2 million in revenue, up $356,000 from the previous year.

“On a tough comparison, we had a very strong quarter,” said Rick Johnson, Badger Meter chief financial officer.

Executives said the acquisition of D-Flow Technology AB, a Swedish company focused on ultrasonic technology, contributed $650,000 to revenue during the quarter. That boost helped overcome a delay in customer orders ahead of the company’s June introduction of LTE cellular technology on its Orion meter endpoints.

“It’s a lot like the cellphones you buy,” said Rich Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and chief executive officer, noting that as the company switched over from offering 3G technology to LTE customers opted to wait for the upgraded product.

Ordinarily, Meeusen said Badger Meter wouldn’t preannounce its launch of a technology upgrade, but competitors had been indicating they would be eventually launching their own LTE product as a way to lure Badger Meter customers away.

“That kind of forced us to tell our customers we had an LTE coming in June,” he said.

Badger Meter also set a company record for net income at $10.6 million, up 12.9 percent from the previous year, and earnings improved from 32 to 36 cents per diluted share.

The company’s gross profit margin improved from 37.9 percent to 39.4 percent, which Meeusen attributed to pricing discipline, manufacturing cost controls and the acquisition of much of the company’s distribution network.

Selling, general and administrative costs were essentially flat at $24.5 million, which the company attributed to staffing reductions in the flow instrumentation business in the second half of last year. That business, which is dependent on oil and gas markets, struggled over the last couple years, but began to pick up domestically during the quarter.

“We were pleased to see the long-awaited recovery of our oil and gas business,” Meeusen said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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