Badger Meter caps record year; Sensient stays in the black; Magnetek CEO expects company to rise from bottom; Snap-on reports drop in earnings; Federal stimulus funds help finance Serigraph’s expansion; Modine turns corner to profitability
Badger Meter caps record year
Badger Meter Inc. finished 2009 with record annual net earnings of $34.2 million, or $2.28 per share, up from $25.1 million, or $1.69 per share, in 2009. The Milwaukee-based company’s net sales dipped in 2009 to $250.3 million from $279.6 million in 2008.
For the fourth quarter, Badger Meter’s net earnings fell to $5.1 million, or 34 cents per share, from $6.2 million, or 42 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
"We achieved three record quarters and a record year for earnings and earnings per share from continuing operations in 2009. This was despite the downturn in the economy and its impact on our sales. Our record strong performance was due to lower commodity costs earlier in the year and ongoing cost controls. In addition, we recognized a tax benefit in discontinued operations related to the shutdown of our former French subsidiaries," said Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter.
Meeusen said the fourth quarter results were impacted by lower sales, continuing the trend of the past few quarters.
"Many water utilities are still delaying purchasing decisions while waiting to see if they would receive federal stimulus funding for infrastructure improvements. In addition, sales of our other flow products continued to be negatively impacted by the economy," Meeusen said.
Meeusen also said the company had an unusually strong fourth quarter in 2008, which included sales related to a large residential metering project in Mexico and a $994,000 pre-tax gain from the sale of a former manufacturing facility in Rio Rico, Ariz.
Sensient stays in the black
Sensient Technologies Corp., a Milwaukee-based manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances, reported fourth quarter net earnings of $16.3 million, or 33 cents per share, down from $20.6 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
The company’s quarterly revenue grew to $311.5 million from $293.8 million a year earlier.
Sensient’s consolidated revenue for 2009 was $1.2 billion, down slightly from $1.3 billion in 2008.
"Sensient’s business has held up well throughout this year’s difficult economic environment," said Kenneth Manning, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm. "Our strong cash flow and low debt levels have allowed us to continue to invest in our business, which will enhance our ability to grow in the future."
Sensient expects 2010 diluted earnings per share to be within a range of $1.98 to $2.05. Sensient’s earnings growth is expected to be weighted toward the second half of 2010, partly as a result of the timing of expected raw material cost reductions.
Magnetek CEO expects company to rise from bottom
Menomonee Falls-based Magnetek Inc. posted a fiscal second quarter net loss of $1.2 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with net income of $1.9 million, or 6 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
The company’s quarterly net sales fell to $19.2 million from $26.8 million a year earlier.
However, Magnetek’s quarterly operating loss was reduced to $0.8 million from $1.3 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
The company’s second quarter sales increased by $1.4 million, or 8 percent, over first quarter sales said Peter McCormick, Magnetek’s president and chief executive officer. Its operating results improved by $500,000, while its backlog at the end of the second quarter was more than $20 million, including an $11 million order it received in October for wind power inverters.
In response to lower levels of sales throughout the economic downturn, the company has reduced its workforce by nearly 60 positions, approximately 16 percent of its workforce, and implemented a wage and salary freeze that is expected to remain in place throughout fiscal 2010. It has also taken actions to temporarily suspend its 401(k) plan matching contributions and also has changed the method of payment of the company’s incentive compensation plan for fiscal 2010 from cash payments to payment in company common stock in an effort to preserve cash
"While we believe we have seen the cyclical bottom in our business, it remains very difficult to predict how robust the overall economic recovery will be, and more specifically, how that will impact our served markets," McCormick said. "Market conditions appear to be improving in renewable energy and, to a lesser extent in material handling; however we have also seen recent indicators of softening in the elevator and mining markets. Despite these mixed signals, we expect our sales for the third quarter to increase sequentially from the second quarter. In addition, our current outlook projects improving quarterly trends for the remainder of the fiscal year.”
Snap-on reports drop in earnings
Snap-on Inc., a Kenosha-based manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions for professional users, reported fourth quarter net earnings of $38.1 million, or 63 cents per share, which was down from a record quarter of $60.5 million, or $1.01 per share, in the same period a year ago.
The company’s quarterly net sales fell to $618.1 million from $667.8 million a year earlier.
For the full fiscal year, Snap-on’s net income fell to $143.7 million from $243.6 million in 2008.
"We are encouraged by Snap-on’s fourth quarter results and by the financial and strategic headway reflected in our performance," said Nick Pinchuk, Snap-on chairman and chief executive officer. "While our overall results were below the record earnings achieved in the strong fourth quarter of 2008, our operations continued their sequential increases in the period. In addition, our financial services transition remains on track as we build our on-book finance portfolio.
Federal stimulus funds help finance Serigraph’s expansion
Serigraph Inc, a West Bend-based specialty printer, has secured more than $7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Business & Industry Loan Guarantee program to help finance an expansion.
The company said the USDA federal stimulus money will support its business growth strategy for 2010 and help minimize financial risk. As a result of the financing, the company was able to retain 462 employees and intends to hire up to 50 to accommodate new projects.
Ridgestone Bank assisted Serigraph in obtaining the financing. M&I Bank provided a revolving line of credit to Serigraph.
"We were pleased to be able to work with Serigraph to support their efforts to adjust to the current economic conditions and prepare to continue on the road to recovery," said Bruce Lammers, chief executive officer of Ridgestone Bank.
Modine turns corner to profitability
Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Co. reported fiscal third quarter net earnings of $3.8 million, or 8 cents per share, which was a vast improvement over a net loss of $56.1 million, or $1.75 per share, in the same period a year ago.
The company’s quarterly net sales fell to $302.4 million from $325.6 million.
"We are very pleased with the progress we are making to improve our liquidity and financial position," said Robert Kampstra, vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer for Modine. "We generated positive free cash flow through our strong operating results during the quarter. This cash flow, combined with the proceeds from the sale of our Korea-based vehicular HVAC business and the capital raised in our secondary stock offering last quarter, allowed us to substantially reduce our net debt balance since March 31, 2009."
"Modine’s performance during the third quarter of fiscal 2010 affirms that our four-point plan is working," said Thomas Burke, president and chief executive officer of Modine. “These results reflect the favorable impact of our restructuring activities and our significantly lower cost structure year over year. During the quarter, we completed the sale of our Korea-based vehicular HVAC business, as part of our ongoing portfolio rationalization activity. We used the strength of our cash flow from operations, as well as the proceeds from this sale, to reduce even further the company’s overall debt position. Although we are clearly pleased with our progress during the third quarter, we are mindful of near-term pressure on our business.”