New products help Badger Meter set revenue records

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

New products helped Badger Meter achieve a record $97.7 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, an increase of 7.2 percent from the same time in 2014.

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

The Brown Deer-based maker of water meters said that increased sales of both residential and commercial municipal water products helped drive the improvement. Richard Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and chief executive officer, highlighted the company’s E-Series Ultrasonic meters and software allowing for cloud-based data synchronization in particular.

The company reported, however, that fourth quarter net income was down 8.6 percent to $5.5 million, with earnings of 38 cents per share.

The full year showed a similar picture as the company set a revenue record of $377.7 million, an increase of 3.5 percent from 2014. But net income for the year was $25.9 million, down 12.6 percent. The company had earnings of $1.80 per diluted share, compared with $2.06 the previous year.

“Our record sales for the full year also reflected increased sales of our municipal water products. Sales of flow instrumentation products were down for the year due to continued weakness in the oil and gas market, and the general slow-growth economy,” Meeusen said.

He added that lower earnings were the result of a $760,000 non-cash pension settlement charge and a higher tax rate.

“The increase in the tax rate was due to a reduction in foreign earnings which are taxed at lower rates, higher average state tax rates and a lower production tax credit in 2015,” Meeusen said.

The company recently announced it has received a three-year contract to supply water meters and reading solutions to American Water, a water and wastewater utility that has 15 million customers in 47 states and Canada. Meeusen said that contact shows that 2016 is off to a good start for Badger Meter.

“Overall, we believe 2016 will be a strong year for Badger Meter that could be more comparable to our results in 2014 than in 2015,” he said. “We are optimistic about the growth potential of our already successful new products and our ability to continue to execute on our long-term growth strategies.”

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for 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.