Briggs narrows loss to start fiscal year

Guidance increased after Hurricane Matthew sales

Briggs & Stratton headquarters
The Briggs & Stratton headquarters in Wauwatosa.

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. reported a net loss of $14.1 million in its first quarter of fiscal 2017, an improvement over the $18.2 million loss during the same period last year.

Briggs & Stratton headquarters
The Briggs & Stratton headquarters in Wauwatosa.

The company’s loss dropped from 42 cents to 34 per diluted share.

Revenue was down $3 million or just under 1 percent to $286.8 million during the quarter.

“Our first quarter results were better than we expected, largely driven by engine shipments that occurred earlier than expected,” said Todd J. Teske, Briggs chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Favorable weather in the U.S. and Europe has led to solid late season activity following a delayed start to this past season. We believe the impact of the late season activity has reduced lawn and garden channel inventories to near normal levels, similar to last year.”

Revenue in the company’s engines segment increased from $150 million to $154.5 million. Briggs reported that new sales terms for engines shipped overseas resulted in earlier revenue recognition. The company said the change increased net sales by 150,000 unites and $18 million. Using comparable sales terms, engine volumes were down 130,000 units.

The segment had improved gross profit, which the company attributed to favorable sales mix, slightly lower material costs, favorable foreign exchange and manufacturing efficiency improvements. Production volumes were also down by 7 percent.

The products segment saw revenue decline from $162.5 million to $150.8 million. The company attributed the drop to lower shipments of snowthrowers, pressure washers, and service parts, partially offset by higher shipments of high-end residential and commercial lawn and garden equipment.

Briggs also increased its 2017 guidance from a range of $1.26 to $1.41 per share to $1.31 to $1.46 per share based on increased sales of generators to date following Hurricane Matthew.

“The increase reflects the sales we have achieved to date and does not include estimates beyond this,” Teske said. “We are currently experiencing increased activity, especially for our standby product offerings, however it is too early to quantify the impact of this activity on our outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

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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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