Twin Disc earnings plummet

Racine-based Twin Disc Inc. reported fiscal first quarter net earnings of $1.3 million, or 11 cents per share down from record earnings of $9.6 million, or 83 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The company’s sales for the first three months of fiscal 2013, seasonally the weakest quarter of the fiscal year, declined to $68.8 million from a first quarter record of $81.3 million a year ago.

The decrease in sales was primarily the result of lower demand from customers in the pressure pumping sector of the North American oil and gas market. Offsetting weakness in this market was higher demand from customers in the North American and Asian commercial marine markets.

Michael Batten, chairman and chief executive officer of Twin Disc, said, “Fiscal 2013 first quarter financial results were primarily impacted by a challenging North American pressure-pumping market as rig operators continued to adjust to the North American natural gas supply overhang and lower prices. Trends have yet to improve in this market and we are cautious on the outlook from oil and gas customers for fiscal 2013. While the decline in demand from the North American oil and gas market will have an obvious near-term impact on our business, we are well positioned to grow when the market rebounds. Outside the North American oil and gas market, interest for our oil and gas transmission systems is improving as producers, mainly in Asia, are beginning to develop shale formations. While in its infancy, we believe over time, these regions will be an important area of growth for the company.”

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