Twin Disc’s sales were down, but margins rose for its fiscal third quarter.
Although it was hard to quantify how much weather had to do with the drop, president and CEO John Batten said severe winter weather in the United States and Canada affected supply chain performance and caused shipments at the Wisconsin-based company to be delayed.
Echoing other comments regarding the early spring and late winter months, Batten emphasized that demand remained strong.
Sales dropped to $60.7 million for the quarter that ended March 28 from $68.2 million a year earlier, and the company reported a net loss of $393,000, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $757,000, or 7 cents a share, last year.
Gross margin for the quarter was 27.4 percent, compared with 25.9 percent a year earlier. The company said the increase was the result of a more profitable mix of business. For the year to date, gross margin was 29.3 percent, compared with 28.4 percent for the first nine months of fiscal 2013.
Also for the year to date, net earnings were $1.4 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, compared with $3.8 million, or 34 cents a share, for the nine-month period last year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $2.4 million for the third quarter, compared with $2.9 million for the same quarter last year. For the first nine month of fiscal 2014, EBITDA was $13 million, compared with $16.4 million for the comparable period last year.
"The challenges we have experienced throughout fiscal 2014 persisted during the third quarter,” Batten said in a statement. “Specifically, lower levels of activity from North American and European customers continued to influence our results. Additionally, the severe winter weather throughout most of the U.S. and Canada, while difficult to quantify, impacted the performance of our supply chain, causing some shipments to be delayed, and there was a general low level of order activity for both new units and spares during the quarter.”
“However, we continued to experience favorable demand trends from customers in Asia for both pressure-pumping and commercial marine products as a result of overall economic growth in the region and market share gains,” he said. “Toward the end of the quarter, demand for our pressure-pumping transmission systems began increasing in North America, and we are hopeful that these recent trends will continue as the excess field inventory situation continues to improve.”