Wisconsin Manufacturing News

With news from Strattec, Bucyrus, Electronic Tele-Communications, Johnson Controls and Snap-On

Strattec barely profitable in first quarter
Milwaukee-based Strattec Security Corp. recently announced first quarter net income of $38,000, or 1 cent diluted earnings per share, a significant drop from net income of $2.4 million, or 69 cents diluted earnings per share, for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Net sales for the company’s first quarter were $34.7 million, compared to net sales of $42.7 million for the prior year quarter of last year.

"The lower sales and net income for the quarter can be attributed primarily to the significant decline in our customers’ production schedules," the company said. "That decline is a direct result of the economic crisis in North America and other major markets in the rest of the world. The lack of credit available to consumers and vehicle dealerships has now outstripped the cost of gasoline as the primary negative driver in new vehicle sales. We expect to experience reduced sales levels and operating results for the remaining three quarters of our fiscal year based on these issues."

The company manufactures mechanical locks and keys, electronically enhanced locks and keys, steering column and instrument panel ignition lock housings, latches and related access control products for North American automotive customers, and for global automotive manufacturers.

Bucyrus posts big gain in 3rd quarter earnings
South Milwaukee-based mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus International Inc. reported third-quarter net earnings of $64.2 million, or 85 cents a share, compared with $28.6 million, or 38 cents a share, for the 3rd quarter last year. Sales for the quarter rose to $646 million from $500.3 million in the previous 3rd quarter.

The increased earnings and sales are partially a result of the company’s acquisition of DBT GmbH, a German mining equipment manufacturer, in May. However, the global demand for mining equipment continues to benefit Bucyrus, the company said.

"The increase in surface mining sales was in both original equipment and aftermarket parts and service and was the result of the continued strong demand for Bucyrus’ products and services throughout the world and the positive impact of recently completed capacity improvements at Bucyrus’ principal surface mining manufacturing facility in South Milwaukee," the company said. "The high demand for Bucyrus’ products and services continued to be driven by high global commodity prices during the first nine months of 2008 and strong global markets for commodities mined by Bucyrus’ machines. The expansion of Bucyrus’ South Milwaukee facilities is substantially complete, which will allow for annual shovel production capacity of least 24 machines and almost doubled manufactured parts capacity from 2006 levels."

ETC posts net loss for 3rd quarter
Waukesha-based Electronic Tele-Communications Inc. reported a third quarter net loss of $126,604, or 5 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $5,761 for last year’s third quarter. The company’s sales for the quarter were $320,712, down from $518,477 during last year’s third quarter.

The company lost $168,187, or 7 cents per share, during the first nine months of the fiscal year, an improvement compared to a loss of $233,592, or 9 cents per share, for the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.

Sales for the first nine months of 2008 were $1.3 million compared to sales of $1.6 million in the first nine months of 2007.

"Traditionally slow summer sales, numerous national economic issues including uncertainty related to the election year, and a significant tightening in the credit markets combined to adversely impact our sales in the quarter," said ETC president Dean Danner. "Although order input has improved recently, we anticipate these national economic problems will continue to affect our business.”

Electronic Tele-Communications supplies voice announcers and voice application platforms to domestic and foreign telephone utilities.

Johnson Controls reports minimal 4th quarter profit
Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $16 million, or 3 cents of diluted earnings per share, down from $466 million, or 77 cents of diluted earnings per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit was nearly wiped out by charges from job cuts and other restructuring costs during the quarter.

For the full 2008 fiscal year the company reported net income of $979 million, or $1.63 diluted earnings per share, down from $1.25 billion, or $2.09 diluted earnings per share, for the 2007 fiscal year.

However, the company reported record sales of $38.1 billion for the 2008 fiscal year, up 10 percent from $34.6 billion in 2007. For the 2008 fourth quarter, the company reported record sales of $9.3 billion, an increase of 3 percent compared to $9.0 billion during the 2007 fourth quarter last year

"We achieved a record year with solid profitability despite the unprecedented market challenges and economic volatility," said chairman and CEO Stephen A. Roell. "In recognition of the difficult environment, we took pre-emptive action in the fourth fiscal quarter to improve and better align our cost structure with future market conditions. This will improve our long-term profitability and further enhance our competitive advantage." For 2009, the company is expecting diluted earnings per share of $1.95 to $2.10. For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, the company said it expects earnings of 22 cents to 24 cents per diluted share, down from 39 cents in the 2008 quarter.

"While we face uncertainties in 2009, we begin the year in a strong position with record backlogs in our automotive and buildings businesses, global market leadership and our proven ability to improve our cost structure," said Roell. "Johnson Controls will aggressively execute on our strategies and continue to invest for sustainable long-term growth."

Snap-on reports 3rd quarter earnings surge
Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc. today reported third quarter net earnings of $54.6 million, up 32.8 percent from third quarter net earnings of $41.1 million in 2007. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 94 cents, up 34.3 percent from 70 cents in the third quarter of 2007.The company had third quarter net sales of $697.8 million, up $17.1 million or 2.5 percent, compared to 2007’s third quarter.

"We are very encouraged by our third quarter results, especially given the current global economic challenges," said Nick Pinchuk, Snap-on president and CEO. "The global economic challenges have made forecasting uncertain. Snap-on, however, remains positive looking forward and believes that continued execution of our core strategies will support improved year-over-year earnings again in the fourth quarter."

Snap-on, a manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions said it plans to increase its presence in Asia and Eastern Europe.

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