Price bump, emerging markets continue to drive A.O. Smith profits higher

A.O. Smith water heater
A.O. Smith Corp. manufactures water heaters, including this Voltex model.

Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp. today reported third quarter net income of $73.6 million, or 82 cents per share, up from $50.6 million, or 56 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2014.

A.O. Smith water heater
A.O. Smith Corp. manufactures water heaters, including this Voltex model.

Operating income at the water heating and treatment product manufacturer was $231.3 million, up from $163.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue totaled $625.1 million in the third quarter, up 7.5 percent from $581.6 million in the third quarter of 2014. The company attributed the increase to higher product prices in North America, an increase in U.S. sales of Lochinvar brand products and commercial water heaters, and ongoing demand for its products from Chinese consumers.

The company exhibited growth in the quarter despite higher selling, general and administrative expenses and an increase in its provision for income taxes, from $18.7 million a year ago to $33.6 million in the third quarter.

“Our organic growth continued to outshine the industrial landscape,” said Ajita Rajendra, chairman and chief executive officer. “China year-to-date sales are up 15 percent in local currency, demonstrating the confidence of the Chinese consumer. Our North American business continued to perform at a high level, and we have completed the conversion to NAECA III-compliant residential products. Our commercial water heater and boiler volumes continued to grow as a result of continued new construction activities in our commercial end markets.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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