Pentair First Quarter 2002 EPS Exceeds Analysts´ Consensus Estimates, Free Cash Flow Reaches Record First Quarter Levels, Second Quarter Guidance Revised Upward


ST. PAUL, Minn., Apr 16, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Pentair (NYSE: PNR) today announced that its first quarter 2002 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.43 exceeded analysts' consensus earnings estimates by $0.05 or 13 percent, while free cash flow in the first quarter of 2002 reached $15 million -- a $68 million gain over year-ago levels.

In addition, Pentair said it has raised its expectations for second quarter 2002 EPS to a range of between $0.75 and $0.80, while FY2002 EPS is anticipated in the range of between $2.75 and $2.90.

"Our Tools business performed well in the first quarter, our Water Technologies businesses realized improvements in some key markets, and the restructuring of our Enclosures business is proceeding as expected," said Randall J. Hogan, president and CEO, who will succeed Winslow H. Buxton as Pentair chairman effective May 1, 2002. "The first quarter provided ample evidence that our supply management and lean enterprise initiatives have taken root, and that our action plans are beginning to drive growth as evidenced by higher backlogs in the Tools and Water businesses. Our businesses are committed to return to -- and exceed -- their previously high levels of performance."

Pentair's continuing EPS for the first quarter of 2002 was $0.43, compared to continuing EPS of $0.42 in the previous year, or $0.58 excluding 2001 goodwill amortization. [Due to the cessation of goodwill amortization on January 1, 2002, all references to 2001 operating results in this narrative exclude the impact of 2001 goodwill amortization.] First quarter operating income margins were 7.5 percent, as compared to 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001. First quarter 2002 operating income was $45.7 million, compared to $61.9 million in the first quarter of 2001. First quarter net sales totaled $613.4 million, versus $671.4 million in the year earlier period. At $15 million, free cash flow was the highest first-quarter free cash flow that Pentair has generated in the last decade.

In the Tools Group, first quarter 2002 sales were nine percent higher than in the same period last year, while operating income improved 64 percent on the same comparison. First quarter operating income margins gained 220 basis points over the first quarter 2001. Sell-through in most channels improved during the first quarter, and higher order rates resulted in increased backlogs. Higher profits were driven by higher volume, improved cost productivity, and results generated by the Group's supply chain and lean enterprise practices.

In the Water Technologies Group, the strongest pump sales in more than a year partially offset the impact of flat-water treatment markets and seasonal weakness in pool and spa equipment markets, netting a four percent decline in first quarter 2002 sales. First quarter 2002 operating income declined nine percent from the same period last year. First quarter operating income margins were 14 percent, a 260 basis point gain over the fourth quarter of last year.

In the Enclosures segment, sales in the first quarter of 2002 declined 34 percent from the record levels of a year ago. North American industrial orders and sales have stabilized from the fourth quarter, while European and Asian markets remain weak. Operating income for the Group was down compared to the first quarter of 2001 due to significant industry-wide sales declines, but operating income margins rose 90 basis points over the fourth quarter 2001 levels as the benefits of cost productivity and restructuring initiatives began to read out in the Group's results. Pentair said it had closed four of five enclosures manufacturing facilities scheduled for shut-down. Four support facilities also were closed. The group's workforce was reduced by another 400 employees during the first quarter.

"We've made progress in restoring the tools business and in reducing costs across the board, but we're also pursuing new growth opportunities," Hogan said. "Certainly, we are in a very good position to take advantage of further strengthening in our markets. Our progress on growth actions, coupled with the increasing impact of our cost productivity activities, makes us confident that Pentair's performance should continue to trend upward through 2002. Just how steep that upward trend runs will be largely determined by the pace of economic recovery."

A Pentair conference call scheduled for 9:00 a.m. CDT today will be webcast live via The conference call, which can be found on the site's "Financial Information" page, will be archived at the same location.

Pentair is a St. Paul-based manufacturer whose core businesses compete in tools, water technologies, and enclosures markets. The company employs 11,500 people in more than 50 locations around the world.

Any statements made about the company's anticipated financial results are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and the company undertakes no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Actual results could differ materially from anticipated results.

Source: Pentair plc.

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