Actuant releases 3Q earnings

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Actuant Corp. reported a 33 percent decline in sales for its third quarter, which ended May 31.

The net loss and diluted loss per share in the fiscal 2009 third quarter were $17.6 million and 31 cents, respectively, compared to net earnings of $38.6 million and diluted earnings per share of 60 cents in the comparable quarter last year.

Sales for the nine months ending May 31 were $970 million, 23 percent lower than the $1.25 billion in the year-ago period. Net loss for the nine-month period was $2.8 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $88.3 million, or $1.39 per diluted share last year.

The company also reported a net debt reduction of nearly $65 million in the quarter and a secured amendment to a $515 million bank credit agreement providing additional flexibility with respect to financial covenants, while maintaining the size and maturity of the facility.

"As we move into the fourth quarter, we are encouraged that revenues have begun to stabilize in several of our end markets and that improved consumer confidence, higher oil prices and global stimulus investments could benefit the Actuant businesses," chairman and CEO Robert C. Arzbaecher said in a statement.

"However, we are attempting to be realistic in our expectations that global economic conditions, including higher unemployment and lagging European demand, will constrain growth in the near term," he added.

The company estimates fourth-quarter earnings per share to be in the range of 12 to 20 cents (excluding restructuring charges) on sales of $275 to $295 million.

Based on this fourth-quarter guidance, full year fiscal 2009 sales and earnings per share are expected to be $1.24 to $1.26 billion and 87 cents to 95 cents (excluding restructuring and impairment charges), respectively.