Second-Quarter Earnings Results Up

Aug. 29, 2003
Several electrical companies reported some improvement in second-quarter financial results. Following are financial snapshots of the earnings reports of some industry players.

Several electrical companies reported some improvement in second-quarter financial results. Following are financial snapshots of the earnings reports of some industry players.

Hughes Supply Inc.’s fiscal second-quarter sales rose to $815.1 million from $774.7 million a year ago, as the Utiliserve acquisition contributed $55.1 million in sales in the latest quarter. Comparable-branch sales fell 1.8 percent to $753.2 million from $766.6 million.

The company said that for the fiscal second-quarter ended Aug. 1, it earned $18.7 million, compared with $18.5 million during the year-ago quarter.

“To deliver higher earnings we had to overcome several revenue challenges this quarter,” said Tom Morgan, president and chief executive officer. “The Industrial PVF segment continues to operate in a very tough environment, important construction markets in Texas and Colorado remain soft, and a large customer was lost to a different alliance in our Electric Utilities business.

Electrical and plumbing revenues for the second quarter were $409 million, an increase of $55 million, or 15 percent over last year’s second quarter. This increase included $55 million in Utiliserve revenues. Year-to-date revenues for the Electrical and Plumbing segment were $802 million, an increase of $73 million over last year, or 10 percent.

The Genlyte Group Inc., Louisville, Ky., saw its second-quarter earnings drop 7.7 percent compared with the second quarter of 2002. Net income was $9.8 million, down 7.9 percent from the second quarter of 2002. The company reported second quarter 2003 sales of $254.1 million were 2.6 percent higher than the $247.8 million reported last year.

Chairman, President and CEO Larry Powers said, “Although we are pleased to report a sales increase for the quarter and year to date, it is disappointing to report lower earnings after achieving 33 consecutive quarters of increasing earnings per share and income over prior years. As we announced in our outlook last month, the weak U.S. dollar has impacted the earnings of the company’s Canadian divisions that sell into the U.S. markets.” He said that during the second quarter, the company realized approximately $1.7 million of pre-tax translation losses on U.S. dollar denominated monetary assets, including cash and receivables, in its Canadian divisions.

“We have seen minimal benefit from the recent price increase due to excess industry capacity and continued soft market conditions. The commercial and industrial markets have been weak since the third quarter of 2001. Residential construction is somewhat firm but flattening. We have continuously worked to increase our manufacturing efficiencies and reduce cost to offset the market pressures. However, the magnitude of the unusual currency translation losses this quarter combined with continued insurance, freight, and legal cost increases are more than we have been able to offset with other cost reductions.”

Genlyte Group said it doesn’t expect to see much of an improvement during the third quarter or for the balance of 2003.

Powers said, “While we hope the impact of the Canadian exchange rate will be less severe, it is not predictable. We also expect insurance, freight and legal costs to continue to impact our bottom line.” Thomas Industries Inc., Louisville, Ky., reported higher earnings for the second quarter of 2003 than for any quarter in the company’s history. Net income for the three months ended June 30, 2003, was up 9.2 percent, to $9.4 million compared with $8.6 million in the second quarter of 2002. Net sales were $96 million, as compared to $50 million a year ago.

For the first half of 2003, net income was a record $18 million compared with $16 million. Net sales were $188 million versus $96 million a year ago. Sales and net income for the second quarter and first half of 2003 include the results of the Aug. 29, 2002, acquisition of Werner Rietschle GmbH & Co.

Timothy C. Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Thomas Industries, said, “Our equity earnings from Genlyte Thomas Group (GTG) declined 8 percent, although the performance for the second quarter was slightly better than had been forecasted earlier in June. GTG was negatively impacted by foreign currency losses and legal costs in the quarter and first half. Our North American Group’s margins have been negatively impacted by the higher cost of German products as a result of the weaker dollar. Conversely, the quarter was favorably impacted by the translation of our European earnings into the weaker U.S. dollar.”

In commenting on the outlook for the balance of the year, Brown said, “Our lighting joint venture, GTG, is still experiencing tough conditions in their most important market — commercial lighting — and will persist in seeking new ways to control costs to offset this.”