Badger Meter tops last year’s record Q1

Lower compensation costs help improve earnings

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

Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. set company records for sales and earnings in the first quarter, even against tough comparisons from last year’s first quarter that saw the company top $100 million in revenue for the first time.

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

Rich Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and chief executive officer, said domestic residential and commercial municipal water products were up, driven by the company’s technologies for meters, radios and software.

“We are especially encouraged by the growing customer acceptance of our ultrasonic solid-state metering technology,” Meeusen said.

The maker of water meters and flow instrumentation products had revenue of $101.6 million during the quarter, a 1 percent increase over last year’s first quarter. Higher brass prices pushed the cost of sales up and gross margin fell from 38.8 percent to 38 percent.

Those higher costs were offset by lower selling, general and administrative costs, down 3.9 percent to $25.2 million. The decline was the result of lower employee compensation costs and reduced staffing levels, the company said.

Net income improved 9.5 percent, to $8.7 million, with earnings improving from 28 cents to 30 cents per diluted share.

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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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