Thursday, May 12, 2011

BSA reports strong growth in sales

Sales increased 17 percent in 2010 compared to 2009

A report on the results of the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) 2011 Distributor Survey revealed strong sales and an improving economy. The data, reported by Carl James, BDI-Canada, at the BSA 45th Annual Convention, revealed that in 2010 the aggregate sales volume for participating distributors was $2,250,000,000 this represents an increase of 17.2% over the 2009 volume of $1,920,000,000. Estimates are that 2011 will continue this trend with a gain of 7.8%.

As James pointed out, if the industry grows 12% in 2011, “we reach $2.70 Billion in Sales and Exceed 2008 in 2011.” A closer look at the end-users reflects a changing, dynamic, and perhaps more resilient marketplace than originally expected.

Distributors also demonstrated increased productivity – and comparable profitability as well – by holding the line on hiring. In 2010 survey respondents reported the aggregate number of employees had grown to 17,000, an increase of just 1.8% over 2009. In 2007 the aggregate number of employees was 17,600; this number fell to 16,600 in 2008.

In presenting the survey results, James noted that this was the fifth year for the BSA Distributor Survey. Survey results in 2011 were based on 25 BSA member respondents among 40 BSA members. Respondents represent 90% of the dollar value of bearings sold through BSA members. The report is prepared by the Profit Planning Group LLC (PPG). Completed surveys are sent directly to PPG where they are held in confidence. PPG accumulates data and reports the results.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Distribution Update joins Trades Hub network

Our blog joins the family of online industry/trade information via Mike Rowe’s new “Trades Hub” platform

Distribution Update is now part of the Trades Hub network, an online information-sharing initiative from skilled trades-champion Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.

Rowe launched in 2008 as a resource and community forum for skilled trades people. Trades Hub takes the effort a step further, expanding Rowe’s reach to include a wider range of news and information for workers in trades such as construction, welding, landscaping, HVAC, manufacturing, and more. Trades Hub is a network of blogs, news, articles and other information about the trades and for the trades.

Users can access information by trade, topic, location, source and date at Or, click the Trades Hub icon in the right-hand column of the Distribution Update page.

Industrial distributors continue strong performance

Kaman Industrial Technologies, DXP Enterprises and others post double-digit sales gains in the first quarter

For proof that U.S. manufacturing activity remains strong and is leading the economic recovery, look no further than some of this week’s earnings reports from some of the largest industrial distributors in North America.

Double-digit sales gains for companies like Kaman Industrial Technologies, Airgas and DXP Enterprises came on top of yet another strong economic report from the Institute for Supply Management, which reported this week that its Purchasing Manager’s Index remained above 60 in April, marking the 21st straight month of growth in the manufacturing sector. A PMI of higher than 50 indicates growth; a PMI of less than 50 indicates contraction.

Here’s a look at some of the quarterly distribution results released this week:

Sales grew 33% for Kaman Industrial Technologies, reaching a record $239 million compared to $179 million a year ago. The results reflect growth from acquisitions made in 2010 and a healthier business environment compared to the same period a year ago, the company said.

Airgas reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.1 billion, an increase of 12% over the prior year. Total same-store sales increased 11%, with hardgoods up 14% and gas and rent up 9%.

Sequentially, total sales increased 7% from the third quarter and sales per day increased 3%. Net earnings were $63 million, or 74 cents per share.

The company cited strength in manufacturing, medical, utilities and petrochemical industries.
For the full year, Airgas’ sales increased 10% from the prior year to $4.3 billion. Net earnings for the year were $250 million, or $2.93 per diluted share.

At DXP Enterprises, first-quarter sales rose 25% to $183 million, compared to $147 million in the same period a year ago.

Net income rose nearly 77% to $6.3 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to $3.6 million, or 26 cents per share a year ago.

The company cited improvement in all if its end markets, particularly oil and gas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

AIT acquires Gulf Coast Bearing

Gulf Coast Bearing serves customers in South Texas

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE: AIT) has acquired the assets of Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply Co. of Corpus Christi, Texas. Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply is a full line bearing and power transmission distributor with locations in Corpus Christi and Pharr, Texas. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Founded in 1985, Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply serves a broad range of customers in South Texas, primarily in the petrochemical, food processing, construction and agriculture industries. Both existing locations will become fully functional Applied® service centers with access to more than four million parts.

"Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply is one of the leading independent bearing and power transmission distributors in its territory and will be an important addition to the North American network of Applied Industrial Technologies service centers," says Todd A. Barlett, Vice President – Acquisitions and Global Business Development for Applied. "The acquisition is a win-win for the customers of both companies as we expand our product offering and technical support into this region."

"We're proud to be part of a team that can provide world-class customer support in South Texas," says Jim Breen, President of Gulf Coast Bearing & Supply. "As part of Applied, our customers will benefit from a wider selection of products and outstanding technical service."

With approximately 470 facilities and 4,600 employee associates across North America, Applied Industrial Technologies is an industrial distributor that offers more than 4 million parts critical to the operations of MRO and OEM customers in virtually every industry. In addition, Applied provides engineering, design and systems integration for industrial and fluid power applications, as well as customized mechanical, fabricated rubber and fluid power shop services. Applied also offers maintenance training, plus solutions to meet inventory and storeroom management needs that help provide enhanced value to its customers. For its fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, Applied posted sales of $1.89 billion.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Electronics distributors post strong results

Arrow reports strongest first-quarter results in company’s history; Avnet reports 40% growth for fourth straight quarter

The electronics sector continues to perform well despite lingering concerns about the potential impact on the industry from the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March. Two of the industry’s leading distributors reported strong sales and earnings this week, noting continued demand for electronics and computer products worldwide.

Arrow Electronics reported first-quarter profit of $136.3 million on sales of $5.22 billion. The distributor’s global sales of electronic components hit $3.89 billion, a 24% increase over the previous year, while its enterprise computing solutions sales reached $1.34 billion, a 21% increase over the prior year.

"Our growth strategy and the related momentum we built throughout the second half of 2009 and 2010 have carried over into the first quarter of 2011, with the Arrow team generating the strongest first-quarter results in our history. Revenue and earnings per share came in well ahead of our expectations, driven by strength in both of our business segments," said Michael J. Long, president and CEO.

At Avnet, sales rose 40% in the fiscal third quarter ended April 2, marking the company’s fourth consecutive quarter of 40% year-over-year growth.

Avnet Electronics Marketing, its electronic components business, saw record revenue of $3.93 billion, a 36% increase year-over-year and a 10% sequential increase. The company said demand for electronic components remained strong during the quarter in all of its main regions, noting that growth was strongest in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Sales for Avnet Technology Solutions, its computer-related business, rose 47% year-over-year.

Looking ahead, Avnet noted the potential impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami in the June quarter, citing a wider than normal sales and earnings range. Overall company sales are estimated at between $6.6 billion and $7.3 billion, with earnings per share of between $1.10 and $1.22.

“While it is difficult to gauge the impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on our June quarter revenue, we continue to work closely with our suppliers to understand what products are most impacted and meet the needs of our supply chain customers,” the company said in a statement announcing the results.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kennametal sales soar 25% in Q3

Company also raises guidance for remainder of fiscal 2011

Kennametal Inc. today reported record third quarter fiscal sales of $615 million, a 25 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year.

Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "March quarter results continue to demonstrate that our global team is successfully executing our established strategies. We realized organic sales growth of 25 percent year-over-year, despite strong comparisons from the prior year. This growth reflected higher customer demand in both our served end markets as well as geographic regions. Even at a sales level that is lower than prior peak, we achieved a record operating margin for the March quarter. In addition, we again increased our guidance for sales and earnings per share for the current fiscal year. We continue to outperform the forecasted industrial production rate and expect to maintain our strong operating leverage."

Cardoso added, "Our long-term strategies remain consistent -- we continue to balance our served end markets, business mix and geographic presence. Kennametal is a 'Breakaway' company that has demonstrated its ability to be profitable throughout the economic cycle."

Here is a breakout of Kennametal’s segments for the quarter:
• Industrial segment sales of $392 million grew 28 percent from $306 million in the prior year quarter, driven by organic growth of 29 percent and a 1 percent favorable foreign currency impact, partially offset by an unfavorable impact due to fewer business days. On an organic basis, sales increased in all served market sectors led by strong growth in general engineering and transportation sales of 34 percent and 29 percent, respectively. On a regional basis, sales increased by approximately 32 percent in Asia, 29 percent in Europe and 23 percent in the Americas.
• Industrial segment operating income was $54 million compared with $11 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Absent restructuring and related charges recorded in both periods, Industrial operating income was $56 million compared with $26 million in the prior year quarter. The primary drivers of the increase in operating income were higher sales volume and price realization, improved capacity utilization and incremental restructuring benefits. These benefits were partially offset by higher raw material costs and the restoration of temporary cost reductions. Industrial adjusted operating margin increased to 14.3 percent from 8.6 percent in the prior year.
• Infrastructure segment sales of $223 million increased 19 percent from $187 million in the prior year quarter due to organic growth. The organic increase was driven by higher sales in the energy and earthworks markets of 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively. On a regional basis, organic sales increased by approximately 20 percent in the Americas, 15 percent in Asia and 11 percent in Europe.
• Infrastructure segment operating income was $36 million, compared with $19 million in the same quarter of the prior year. Absent restructuring and related charges recorded in both periods, Infrastructure operating income was $37 million in the current quarter compared with $26 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income improved primarily due to higher sales volume and price realization, increased capacity utilization and incremental restructuring benefits, partially offset by higher raw material costs and the restoration of temporary cost reductions. Infrastructure adjusted operating margin increased from the prior year quarter to 16.5 percent from 13.8 percent.

Kennametal executives in a press release said global economic conditions and worldwide industrial production continues to remain positive. As such, Kennametal expects its fiscal 2011 organic sales growth to be 24 percent to 25 percent. This is in line with our goal of growing at least two times the rate of increase in global industrial production.

The company expects EPS for fiscal 2011 to be in the range of $2.75 to $2.85 per share, excluding charges related to previously announced restructuring programs, increased from the previous range of $2.50 to $2.65 per share, excluding charges related to restructuring.

Kennametal also announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.12 per share. The dividend is payable May 25, 2011 to shareowners of record as of the close of business on May 10, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Parker Hannifin reports record Q3 results

Sales increase 24 percent; company raises guidance for year

Diversified manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corporation today reported record results for the fiscal 2011 third quarter ended March 31, 2011. Fiscal 2011 third quarter sales were $3.2 billion, a third quarter record representing an increase of 23.9 percent from $2.6 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Net income was an all-time quarterly record of $281.6 million, an increase of 82.4 percent from $154.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Earnings per diluted share for the quarter were also an all-time quarterly record at $1.68, compared with $0.94 in last year's third quarter.

Parker manufactures a number of products ranging from motion and control technologies, hose and accessories such as valves and fittings.

"Our third quarter performance reflects the continued strength that we see across our end markets and regions and our ability to leverage that strength into higher operating margins and record quarterly earnings per share," said Chairman, CEO and President Don Washkewicz. "Customer orders also increased significantly in the quarter. All segments reported a double-digit increase in sales and order levels. Total organic sales increased 21 percent in the quarter with acquisitions contributing 1 percent and currency contributing 2 percent. Margin performance was also a positive as total segment operating margin was a third quarter record of 14.8 percent, led by Industrial North America segment margin of 16.1 percent and Industrial International segment margin of 15.5 percent. Further reflecting our continued strong balance sheet and cash flow, the Board of Directors today approved a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend from 32 cents to 37 cents per common share."

In the Industrial North America segment, third quarter sales increased 23.0 percent to $1.2 billion, and operating income was $189.5 million compared with $133.6 million in the same period a year ago.

In the Industrial International segment, third quarter sales increased 29.9 percent to $1.3 billion, and operating income was $199.8 million compared with $109.3 million in the same period a year ago.

In the Aerospace segment, third quarter sales increased 12.1 percent to $503.8 million, and operating income was $69.0 million compared with $49.8 million in the same period a year ago.

In the Climate and Industrial Controls segment, third quarter sales increased 24.9 percent to $264.5 million, and operating income was $22.6 million compared with $16.3 million in the same period a year ago.

The company reported the following orders by operating segment:
• Orders increased 20 percent in the Industrial North America segment, compared with the same quarter a year ago.
• Orders increased 22 percent in the Industrial International segment, compared with the same quarter a year ago.
• Orders increased 44 percent in the Aerospace segment on a rolling 12-month average basis.
• Orders increased 14 percent in the Climate and Industrial Controls segment, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

For fiscal 2011, the company has increased guidance for earnings from continuing operations from the previous range of $5.80 to $6.20 per diluted share to a new range of $6.20 to $6.40 per diluted share.

Washkewicz added, "Our performance year-to-date reflects the ongoing economic recovery and the continued execution of our Win Strategy, now in its tenth year. Parker continues to position itself favorably for continued earnings growth by focusing on premier service to our customers, lean operations and ongoing investments in leading edge innovations across the company. Parker expects to deliver record earnings in fiscal 2011, with a strong order backlog going into fiscal year 2012."