Thomas Industries Reports Third Quarter Sales and Earnings


Thomas Industries Inc. reported record earnings for the three months ending September 30, 2004, of $90,268,000 or $5.07 per share, versus $10,583,000, or $.60 per share in the comparable period in 2003.

During the quarter, the company sold its 32 percent interest in Genlyte Thomas Group LLC (GTG), generating a net gain of $4.74 per share. Sales for the quarter were $97,697,000, a third quarter record for the company's pump and compressor business and a ten percent increase from $88,985,000 a year ago.

For the first nine months of this year, net sales were $309,871,000, a record for the pump and compressor business, versus $277,141,000 in 2003. Net income for the nine months was $110,723,000, or $6.25 per share, and includes the above referenced one-time gain on the sale of GTG. This compares to $28,821,000 or $1.64 a year ago. Included with this release are supplemental schedules reflecting the pro forma impact of the sale of Thomas' 32 percent interest in GTG, as if the sale was consummated on January 1, 2003. These schedules show the comparable results for Thomas' pump and compressor business for the third quarter and first nine months of 2004 versus 2003 and are provided to enhance the user's overall understanding of the company's current financial performance.

Sales were positively impacted for the quarter and nine-months by foreign exchange rate differences from the previous year's periods, by approximately $4,000,000 and $17,000,000, respectively. The strength of the euro has reduced margins on sales outside of Europe from the company's German factories, where price increases have not been adequate to offset product cost increases.

In 2004, operating income for the pump and compressor business increased 13 percent for the quarter and 5 percent year-to-date, which includes corporate expense of $3,118,000 and $8,056,000 for the third quarter and year-to-date results, respectively. This also includes non-recurring charges of $732,000 for the quarter and $2,480,000 for the nine months for the shutdown of a production facility in Wuppertal, Germany, with an additional charge expected in the fourth quarter of approximately $700,000. Also in the third quarter of 2004, Thomas provided for anticipated environmental costs of $900,000 related to a former Residential Lighting facility sold in 1985, and incurred approximately $654,000 in Sarbanes-Oxley expenses related to compliance with internal control documentation and testing, which now totals approximately $1,100,000 through September 2004. Management anticipates additional internal control and testing costs will be between $300,000 and $500,000 for the balance of the year.

In commenting on the pump and compressor business, Timothy C. Brown, Chairman, President and C.E.O., stated, "Our third quarter performance was stronger than expected, as we saw nice sales increases in most of our major markets. The European Group led the way with strong sales for printing, environmental and food & beverage applications. The North American Group experienced strong sales in certain applications of the medical market, including nebulizers, aspirators and central vacuum systems, which helped to offset the anticipated decline in oxygen concentrators."

As for the outlook for the balance of the year, Brown said, "We expect to experience pricing pressures within some of our key markets, but we expect to improve efficiencies within our processes and reduce overall costs. However, we believe that sales in the fourth quarter could be down slightly from a year ago."

Thomas Industries Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, designs, manufactures and markets Rietschle Thomas brand pumps and compressors for use in global OEM applications, supported by worldwide sales and service for key customer applications and end-user markets. High quality automotive component castings are also a key offering. Other products include Welch laboratory equipment and Oberdorfer bronze and high alloy liquid pumps. Thomas has wholly-owned operations in 21 countries, spanning five continents.

The statements in this press release with respect to future results and future expectations may be regarded as forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and actual results may differ materially from those currently expected. They are subject to various risks, such as the ability of Thomas Industries to meet business sales goals, effectiveness of operating initiatives, currency exchange and interest rates, adverse outcome of pending or potential litigation, fluctuations in commodity prices, the timing of the magnitude of capital expenditures, a slowing of the overall economy including interruptions to commerce resulting from wars or terrorist attacks, as well as other risks discussed in Thomas' filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report and 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003. Thomas Industries makes no commitment to disclose any revisions to forward- looking statements, or any facts, events, or circumstances after the date hereof that may bear upon forward-looking statements.

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