Actuant execs ring closing bell at NYSE; GDP growth slows to 2.4 percent in 2nd quarter; U.S. Bank survey: Small business owners think economy is still in recession; Fiserv posts second quarter earnings growth from one year earlier
Actuant execs ring closing bell at NYSE
Executives with Butler-based Actuant Corp. rang the closing bell yesterday at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of the company’s 10th anniversary as a spin-off and its 100 years in business.
“For 100 years our company has demonstrated the drive to lead and has shown remarkable resilience,” said chief executive officer Robert Arzbaecher. “From our humble start in Milwaukee as American Grinder Manufacturing Company in 1910, we’ve demonstrated the foresight to reinvent ourselves over the years, acquiring new businesses and shifting focus to deliver the quality products and services our customers want.”
Founded in 1910 as American Grinder Manufacturing, the Company became Blackhawk Manufacturing in 1925, Applied Power Industries in 1961, and ultimately Actuant in 2000 with the spin-off from Applied Power.
GDP growth slows to 2.4 percent in 2nd quarter
The U.S. gross domestic product increased 2.4 percent in the second quarter, the fourth consecutive quarter of growth, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today.
However, the economy’s growth is slowing. The U.S. GDP grew 3.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, which was revised up with the prior estimate of a 2.7 percent increase, the Commerce Department said.
Price increases also slowed in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said. The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 0.1 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent in the first.
Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent in the first.
“The economy is in tough shape,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland, and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. “Fourth quarter GDP numbers show the economy is not growing fast enough to create jobs and bring down unemployment. Of the 2.4 percent growth reported, 1.1 percent was an increase in inventories-essentially businesses rebuilding and adjusting inventories from recession lows and to accommodate more price-conscious consumers. This indicates actual demand in the economy is growing a scant 1.3 percent a year. Businesses can accommodate up to 2 percentage points through higher productivity and without adding workers. Unless spending picks up (and indicators are that is not happening), once businesses stop piling up unsold goods, layoffs will outnumber hires, unemployment will rise with a vengeance, and the economy will head into a second dip. That will not likely happen until after the election. It will show up in fourth quarter data.”
U.S. Bank survey: Small business owners think economy is still in recession
A vast majority of small business owners in the Milwaukee area, 86 percent, think the U.S. economy is still in a recession and 78 percent of them think the economy will still be in a recession next year, according to Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp’s 2010 U.S. Bank Small Business Annual Survey.
Nationally, 89 percent of small business owners believe the U.S. economy is still in a recession and 75 percent believe it will still be in a recession next year, according to the survey.
According to the survey, 39 percent of Milwaukee area small business owners say Wisconsin’s economic conditions are poor for small businesses. Nationally, 29 percent of small business owners believe their state’s economic conditions for small businesses are poor, according to the survey.
“American small business owners are resilient and they are survivors,” said Rick Hartnack, vice chairman at U.S. Bancorp and head of consumer banking. “There is no question that this sector will be central to our economic recovery. Taking the time to listen to their perspective and understand what motivates them is essential to providing the financial, legislative and moral support they need to thrive.”
Fiserv posts second quarter earnings growth from one year earlier
Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. posted a slight increase in its second quarter earnings report. The company had a two percent increase in total adjusted revenues of $970 million, compared to $951 million in the second quarter of 2009.
The company also had total GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) revenue of $1.02 billion for the quarter, compared to $1 billion in total GAAP revenue for same quarter one year earlier.
Earnings per share were $.85 for the second quarter, up from $.74 per share in the second quarter of 2009.
“Our results in the quarter included an acceleration of organic revenue growth, strong sales performance and double-digit growth in earnings per share and free cash flow,” said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv. “Pairing our high quality people with industry-leading solutions is producing superior client value.”
Fiserv believes it will have total earnings per share for the 2010 of $3.96 to $4.07, which will be between eight and 11 percent growth from 2009. It believes it will have adjusted internal growth of one to three percent for the year.
“We are on track to achieve our 2010 guidance based on solid first half results and a strong sales pipeline,” Yabuki said.