Badger Meter reports record sales, but profits dip

Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc. reported record second quarter net sales of $88.3 million, up 7.8 percent from $82.0 million for the same period a year ago.

However, the company’s quarterly net earnings were $6.3 million, a 15.6-percent decrease from $7.4 million from the second quarter of 2012. Quarterly earnings per share were 44 cents, down from 52 cents a year earlier.

The record sales in the second quarter reflected higher volumes in both our municipal water and industrial product lines. However, this increase did not translate into higher margins due to product mix, according to Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter. The gross profit margin was 33.8 percent for the second quarter of 2013, compared with 36.8 percent for the same period in the prior year.

In addition to the lower margin, Meeusen said several other factors contributed to the decrease in net earnings for the quarter. These included a $750,000 non-cash pension charge and a $350,000 legal settlement charge related to a product the company no longer sells.

Meeusen noted that the company’s tax rate for the second quarter of 2013 was 36.1 percent, compared with 33.1 percent for the same period last year.

Meeusen said the company introduced two new products during the second quarter.

“We expanded our E-Series ultrasonic meter line with a polymer version that is a lower-cost alternative to our already successful stainless steel E-Series meters for residential and commercial water metering applications. Our solid-state E-Series technology continues to gain traction with customers because of its added features and smaller size,” Meeusen said.

The company also launched the latest enhancements of its ReadCenter software, a key component of the Badger Meter Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) system.

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