New oil and gas orders could boost Twin Disc

First uptick in orders in two years

Twin Disc transmissions. Source: Company SEC filings

Racine-based Twin Disc Inc. went more than two years without an order for a new oil and gas transmission, so it was a big deal when the company said one had come in on its last earnings call.

Twin Disc transmissions. Source: Company SEC filings
Twin Disc transmissions. Source: Company SEC filings

But it is an even bigger deal that the company announced it had received multiple orders for its 8500 series transmission systems during the current quarter, including a 100-unit order described as “one of the largest single transmission systems orders the company has received.”

Twin Disc has been one of the companies hit hardest by the oil and gas downturn among southeastern Wisconsin’s publicly traded companies. In fiscal 2012, when the company’s pressure pumping business achieved record unit sales, Twin Disc’s land-based transmission segment had sales of $146.7 million. That number dropped to just $29 million in fiscal 2016.

The 100-unit order is for Texas-based ProFrac Services, a manufacturer and distributor of fracturing equipment formed last year.

“These orders demonstrate Twin Disc’s leadership position in providing high horsepower, high quality transmission systems to the pressure pumping industry, and we are proud to be a part of ProFrac’s initial build,” said John Batten, Twin Disc president and chief executive officer.

The company also said its other orders came from already existing customers looking to add new pressure pumping capacity. The orders began shipping during the quarter and Twin Disc also said it has seen increased demand for oil and gas aftermarket components.

“The difficult oil and gas cycle over the past 18 months has caused a significant under-investment in fracturing equipment. Increasing new product and aftermarket demand trends are encouraging and we are cautiously optimistic we are in the early stages of an improving oil and gas equipment cycle,” Batten 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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