Rockwell ‘optimistic’ on Biden views of manufacturing

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation's Milwaukee headquarters.

Last updated on November 12th, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Blake Moret, the charman and chief executive officer of Rockwell Automation Inc., said the company is encouraged that President-elect Joe Biden talked about the importance of U.S. manufacturing during the campaign.

“That is the single most important issue for us and we’re optimistic that they recognize the importance that manufacturing in this country plays as a part of the vital core of the American economy,” Moret said.

He was asked by analysts on the Milwaukee-based company’s earnings call if a Biden administration might slow the onshoring of manufacturing previously done in Asia. One analyst wondered if companies might be less likely to bring work back the U.S. or North America because Biden might not be as aggressive with tariffs as President Donald Trump has been.

Moret did respond specifically to the suggestion, noting the company looked forward to working with the administration through professional organizations to increase U.S. manufacturing and workforce development.

He did say during an earlier part of the call that Rockwell has seen a steady stream of customers announcing investments in North American manufacturing capacity. The COVID-19 pandemic left many manufacturing supply chains vulnerable as border closures limited the flow of goods.

“As markets recover and industrial companies invest in their resilience and agility, Rockwell is well-positioned to grow in fiscal 2021,” Moret said,

Rockwell reported sales of $1.57 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, a 9.3% decline. Net income improved from $8.1 million last year to $262.7 million.

For the full year, Rockwell’s sales were down 5.5% to $6.33 billion. Net income improved from $685.8 million to a little more than $1 billion.

The company is expecting sales growth of 6% to 9% for fiscal 2021, including a 3.5% to 6.5% increase in organic sales.

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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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