Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ABB to acquire Baldor Electric

Baldor, a manufacturer of motors and power transmission products, is headquartered in Ft. Smith, Arkansas

ABB , a power and automation technology group, and Baldor Electric Company a North American provider of industrial motor and related products, have agreed that ABB will acquire Baldor in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4.2 billion, including $1.1 billion of net debt.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors, ABB will commence a tender offer to purchase all of Baldor’s outstanding shares for $63.50 per share in cash. The transaction represents a 41 percent premium to Baldor’s closing stock price on Nov. 29, 2010. The Board of Directors of Baldor will recommend that Baldor shareholders tender their shares in the tender offer. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

The transaction closes a gap in ABB’s automation portfolio in North America by adding Baldor’s strong NEMA motors product line and positions the company as a market leader for industrial motors, including high-efficiency motors. Baldor also adds a growing and profitable mechanical power transmission business to ABB’s portfolio.

The transaction will substantially improve ABB’s access to the industrial customer base in North America, opening opportunities for ABB’s wider portfolio including energy efficient drives and complementary motors. This move comes at a time when regulatory changes in the US and other parts of the world will accelerate demand for energy efficient industrial motion products. The acquisition will strengthen ABB’s position as a leading supplier of industrial motion solutions, and will also enable ABB to tap the huge potential in North America for rail and wind investments, both of which are expected to grow rapidly in coming years.

“Baldor is a great company with an extremely strong brand in the world’s largest industrial market,” said Joe Hogan, ABB’s CEO. “Baldor’s product range and regional scope are highly complementary to ours and give both companies significant opportunities to deliver greater value to our customers.”

John McFarland, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Baldor, commented: “Our Board of Directors believes this transaction is in the best interest of our shareholders, our employees and our customers. It demonstrates the value our employees have created and the strength of our brand and products in the global motors industry. We are excited about the opportunity to join ABB’s worldwide family as we have always respected ABB. We are very pleased that ABB will locate its motor and generator business headquarters for North America in Fort Smith and we are confident that the combined global platform will be well positioned to capitalize on meaningful growth opportunities in the future.” John McFarland will stay with the combined business to support a successful integration.

“ABB is well known in the marketplace for premium, innovative and advanced products. We have respected them as both a market participant and a value-added supplier for many years,” said Ron Tucker, Baldor’s current President and COO, and CEO designate. Ron Tucker will run Baldor including the mechanical power transmission products business and ABB’s motor and generator business in North America after the transaction is completed.

Baldor is based in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and is a supplier in the large North American industrial motors industry. In addition, Baldor offers a broad range of mechanical power transmission products such as mounted bearings, enclosed gearing and couplings – used primarily in process industries – as well as drives and generators. The Baldor drives business will be combined with the larger ABB drives business to achieve even further penetration of this product line.

Baldor employs approximately 7,000 people and reported an operating profit of $184 million on revenue of $1.29 billion in first nine months of 2010. This represents an increase of 30% in operating profit and 11% in revenue over the comparable period in 2009.

The US market for high-efficiency motors is expected to grow 10 to15 percent in 2011on the back of new regulations, effective in December this year. Similar regulations in Canada, Mexico and in the European Union are expected in 2011.

“ABB and Baldor will be able to offer our North American and global customers an unparalleled range of high-efficiency industrial products and services to help them meet their new demands,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, Executive Committee member responsible for ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division, into which Baldor’s business will be integrated alongside the existing Motors and Generators business. We expect to achieve over $200 million in annual synergies by 2015, consisting of more than $100 million annual cost synergies and at least the same global revenue synergies. We estimate two-thirds of these synergies will be realized by 2013. We intend to build on Baldor’s excellent North American position to sell energy efficient drives, larger motors and generators. Together, we will accelerate the expansion of Baldor’s mechanical power transmission product portfolio into the global process automation market using ABB’s strong channels in this sector.”

“We are deeply impressed by the skill and passion of the Baldor team and their excellent customer relationships,” Spiesshofer said. “The strength of Baldor’s people and executive team, which will continue under the new ownership, will play a key role in our mutual success.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, the transaction is structured as a cash tender offer to be followed as soon as possible by a merger. The tender offer is expected to commence in December and is subject to customary terms and conditions, including the tender of at least two-thirds (2/3) of Baldor's shares on a fully diluted basis, and regulatory clearance.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Durable goods orders dropped in October

Biggest monthly drop in nearly two years

Orders for U.S. durable, goods, products meant to last at least three years, unexpectedly dropped in October, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Demand for durable goods decreased 3.3 percent, the biggest drop since January 2009, after a revised 5 percent jump in September.

Meanwhile, jobless claims declined by 34,000 to 407,000 in the week ended Nov. 20, according to the Labor Department.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NABE expects moderate GDP growth in 2011

Labor market conditions to improve slightly

The National Assn. for Business Economics today forecast only a moderate increase in GDP growth in 2011. NABE’s outlook panel said it expects GDP to grow 2.6 percent, unchanged from its previous prediction made in October.

“NABE Outlook survey panelists made only modest revisions to their forecasts for the November report compared with their October projections for economic growth,” said NABE President Richard Wobbekind, associate dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. “Projections for real GDP growth remain sub-par through the first quarter of 2011, but accelerate gradually through the forecast period. For next year as a whole, GDP growth is expected to be moderate.

"Factors restraining growth going forward include ongoing balance-sheet restructuring by consumers and businesses, and a diminished contribution to GDP growth from inventory restocking and government stimulus. Confidence in the expansion’s durability is intact, but panelists remain concerned about high levels of federal debt, a continuing high level of unemployment, increased business regulation, and rising commodity prices.”

Here is a breakdown of what NABE expects:

The NABE Outlook panel made modest revisions to its economic growth predictions for 2010 and 2011. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is now expected to advance 2.7 percent (year-over-year) in 2010, a slight increase from the panel’s October prediction of 2.6 percent. Next year’s projected 2.6 percent GDP growth rate was unchanged from October’s prediction, and, as is typical in a recovery after a severe financial crisis, shows the lack of a more pronounced cyclical rebound. The projected growth rate for 2011 is slightly below the panel’s current estimate of the economy’s long-term growth trend of 2.7 percent. The survey respondents’ estimate of trend growth has declined by one-quarter-percentage point since 2007.

To a large extent, the latest NABE forecast reflects the view that the economy will struggle against financial headwinds. Forty percent of survey respondents—compared to 37 percent in October—characterize the expansion as “sub-par with severe wealth losses and onerous debt burdens inhibiting spending and lending.” In contrast, 28 percent of respondents feel that “the economy will overcome its headwinds, and behave more in line with a traditional business cycle expansion: real output will grow at a rate above potential, and households and businesses will boost discretionary spending.” The likelihood of either stagflation or the economy slipping back into recession is viewed as relatively low.

Consumer spending is expected to remain modest throughout the forecast horizon due to weak job gains, persistently high unemployment, and negligible growth in household net worth. This year’s holiday retail sales are still expected to be weak, rising only 2.5 percent from those of last year. Roughly half of the panelists expect the personal saving rate to fall over the forecast period, while the other half of the panel is divided as to whether it will rise further or stay at roughly the same rate.

Labor market conditions will improve slowly. Monthly payroll gains are forecast to average less than 150,000 until the latter half of 2011, at which time gains will improve at a range of roughly 150,000-170,000. Joblessness will remain high, with the unemployment rate persisting at over 9.5 percent or higher through the first quarter of 2011 before easing—but only slightly—to 9.2 percent by year-end 2011.

This will mark the weakest post-recession job recovery on record. Panelists estimate the current long-run or natural rate of unemployment at 5.8 percent, up by one-half-percentage point since 2007.

Grainger optimistic about Q4

Sales expected to grow 8 to 10 percent

Grainger, the large broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving government, businesses and institutions, last week told financial analysts that it expects a solid sales increase for the fourth quarter.

For the 2010 fourth quarter, the company is forecasting sales to increase 8% to 10%, and expects earnings per share for the quarter to be between $1.49 and $1.69, excluding unusual items.

•For the full year 2010, the company expects sales to increase 14% to 15%, and has narrowed its earnings per share forecast to be between $6.50 and $6.70, excluding unusual items. In October, the company had forecasted 2010 full year EPS of $6.40 to $6.70 on 14% to 15% sales growth.

•For the full year 2011, the company is forecasting sales to increase 5% to 9%, and expects earnings per share to be between $7.15 and $7.90.
The company also reviewed its long term operating margin objectives. Grainger expects to expand its operating margin by approximately 50 basis points per year in the context of mid to high single digit organic sales growth. The company established a new long term objective of increasing its operating margin to a range of 14% to 16%, up from the previous objective of 11% to 13%.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hose distributors seek to expand technical knowledge

Recent NAHAD “Road Show” provided networking, education opportunities on hose assembly fabrication

NAHAD-The Assn. for Hose & Accessories Distribution took its Hose Assembly Guidelines program on the road recently as part of an ongoing outreach program designed to spread the word about the importance of providing safe, reliable hose assemblies to customers in all lines of trade.

NAHAD’s Hose Assembly Guidelines are a set of comprehensive recommendations for hose assembly specification, design and fabrication; they are designed to maximize the life of a hose assembly and optimize hose assembly safety, quality and reliability. San Diego was the fourth in a series of “road shows” created to spread the word about the guidelines program. The meeting was held Sept. 29-30 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.

The training and education aspects of the program attracted John Green, president of Green Rubber/Kennedy Ag of Salinas, Calif., a first-time attendee who said he was “curious to see what the program was all about.”

“Our biggest concern as a medium-sized company is training,” said Green, whose company specializes in selling hose and rubber products to California’s food industry. “[NAHAD] stresses the importance of having qualified people learning about and doing proper assembly of specialty hoses.

“We know the chemical compatibilities and proper couplings to install on the hoses and the working pressures and so on, but these are things you can take for granted that your people know. And the training out there is very limited. So this was a way for us to stay informed.”

The Hose Assembly Guidelines program includes a training and certification component, something Green said he is particularly interested in.

“Most people think a hose is a hose and they don’t take into consideration what goes through it and how much pressure is involved,” he added, pointing to the potential for injury and damage if a hose fails. “We all want more information and a better understanding of what our products are capable of doing and what they’re not capable of doing. You really have to be astute in taking the time to make sure you know what you’re talking about when you make recommendations to customers.”

Distributors who adhere to NAHAD’s Hose Assembly Guidelines agree to fabricate hose assemblies according to the association’s standards—for industrial, composite, hydraulic, corrugated metal and fluoropolymer hose, as well as ducting and custom-made hose—and also agree to train and test their employees on those standards. They can then become NAHAD Listed members, a marketing program that lets end users and others know that they adhere to the NAHAD guidelines.

Green says he plans to take part in the Guidelines program as a result of the meeting.

Mike Helfer, president of Specialty Hose Corp. in North Canton, Ohio, deemed the Road Show a success in large part because of first-time attendees like Green. Helfer is a NAHAD board member and also serves on the association’s standards committee.

“Although we do some [programming] geared toward the Guidelines at our annual convention, there are still many people who walk away from that meeting without a complete understanding of what [the Guidelines] are and how they can affect them and their business,” Helfer explained. “[The Road Shows provide] hands-on, live examples from people who are using the Guidelines on a daily basis, giving [newcomers] insight about what this program is that everyone is talking about and how they can use it at their company.”

Key topics at the San Diego Road Show included safety concerns, liability issues in cases of hose failure, and the importance of ongoing employee training, Helfer and Green said. Companies experienced in using the Guidelines—such as Helfer’s—shared their experiences as NAHAD Listed members, while newcomers asked questions and also shared their insights on key issues and trends shaping the industry.

Among the meeting’s key “take-aways” for Green was a simple piece of sales advice.

“We all have trained salesmen who go out and try to explain to the purchasing people or the engineering people or the safety people why they should spend a certain amount of money on a particular product,” Green said. “But in most cases, people are looking for price. At [the Road Show], one gentleman explained it this way: You find somebody who [cares]. And when you find that person, you explain that if you think this hose might be expensive, wait until you find out how expensive a lawsuit can be.”

For more information on NAHAD’s Hose Assembly Guidelines program, go to http://www.hoseguidelines.com/.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Purvis Industries acquires BMG

Purvis will also be opening a new MT. Pleasant, TX store

CAPCORP, a division of Purvis Industries of Dallas, TX, has acquired Belt Maintenance Group of Texas (BMG) from BMG of Tampa, FL. The acquisition consists of the Mt. Pleasant, TX, and San Antonio, TX, locations.

BMG sells conveyor belting sales and service solutions including field service and installation to the Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and surrounding areas

“We believe the culture of quality service and field work with an emphasis on maintaining a safe and professional presence on the job demonstrated by BMG Texas is a great fit with the CAPCORP organization and its philosophy” said Allan Ross, vice president of sales and operations at CAPCORP.

Purvis Industries will also be opening a new Mt Pleasant, TX store to be co-located in a new 15,000-square-foot facility to be occupied by BGM and CAPCORP.

Friday, November 12, 2010

PT/motion control sales rose in September

Sales of PT products are up 11.9 percent this year compared to 2009

Sales of power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) products by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers grew for the second consecutive month in September. U.S. sales were up 1.4 percent and Canadian manufacturers’ sales rose 10.4 percent according to September 2010 sales data released by the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) in its Market Outlook Report.

In the U.S., year-to-date sales are up 11.9 percent over the same period in 2009. In Canada, sales are 13.0 percent ahead of 2009.

Confidence in the market by U.S. manufacturers rose from 4.8 in August to 4.9 on a scale of 1 (very pessimistic) to 10 (outstanding). Canadian manufacturers’ confidence decreased slightly from 5.2 in August to 5.1.

The Market Outlook Report is published monthly by the Power Transmission Distributors Association. The full report includes U.S. and Canadian manufacturer data for sales and order trends for mounted bearings, unmounted bearings, standard industrial motors (U.S. only), variable speed drives, positioning systems/linear motion products, gear products, clutches and brakes, shaft couplings and mechanical drive systems and other PT products.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grainger honors veterans through expanded scholarship program

Distributor’s Tools for Tomorrow program now includes 50 scholarships specifically for veterans of the armed forces

W.W. Grainger announced today the expansion of its Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program, which provides 75 community colleges nationwide with two, $2,000 scholarships for students enrolled in industrial trades programs.

Making the announcement on Veteran’s Day, Grainger said the program will now allocate one-third of the scholarships—50 altogether—to veterans in recognition of their service to the country. The scholarships go to students enrolled in industrial trades programs such as welding, plumbing, automotive and construction. In addition, scholarship recipients receive a Westward toolkit outfitted for their particular industrial trade skill upon graduation.

“Grainger appreciates the contributions veterans have made to our country and their potential for service in the workplace,” Jim Ryan, Grainger’s chairman, president and CEO said in a statement announcing the expanded program. “Industrial skilled trades are vital to keeping our infrastructure sound and our communities strong. The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program empowers future tradespeople to complete their education and helps them start their careers.”

In 2009, there were 22 million veterans over the age of 18, with a significant number likely to enter occupations in installation, maintenance, repair, production and material-moving industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, a report form the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce recently pointed to a growing mismatch over the next 10 years between available skills and required skills in goods-producing industries such as manufacturing and construction. New jobs in those industries “will look nothing like the old ones and will require employees with postsecondary skills and preparation,” the report said.

Grainger launched its Tools for Tomorrow program in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges in 2006. Over the last four years, the distributor has awarded scholarships to more than 200 technical education students at 50 AACC community colleges across the country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lawson Products to sell Rutland Tool to MSC

Deal sharpens Lawson’s focus on its core MRO business, adds to MSC’s metalworking presence on the West Coast

Industrial distributor Lawson Products announced plans to sell its Rutland Tool & Supply Co. subsidiary to MSC Industrial Direct Co. for $11 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Whittier, Calif.-based Rutland Tool is an industrial distributor of metalworking and maintenance solutions that generated $33.7 million in revenue in 2009. Lawson said the sale aligns with its strategy to focus on advancing the Lawson MRO business, the company’s most profitable and fastest-growing segment, Lawson said in a statement announcing the deal this week.

"The sale of Rutland will provide us with valuable resources to further invest in and grow our core MRO business," said Tom Neri, president and chief executive officer of Lawson Products. "Through this sale, as well as through the recent sale of Assembly Component Systems, Inc., we are successfully positioning Lawson for profitable growth and ensuring our strong competitive position for the future."

In September, Lawson sold its Assembly Component Systems business to Supply Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp., for $19 million.

MSC says the acquisition of Rutland will sharpen its focus on the West Coast metalworking market.

“Rutland is a well-regarded West Coast metalworking distributor that adds to our presence in the region,” said David Sandler, MSC’s president and CEO. “We expect that this acquisition will enhance our West Coast build-out strategy and provide the opportunity for accelerated market share gains and further growth in sales and profitability.”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Distributors and manufacturers continue to post strong results

Helped by an improving industrial economy, some of the nation’s largest distributors and manufacturers posted double-digit third-quarter sales gains this week

Industrial distributors and manufacturers produced further evidence of an improving business climate this week, as third-quarter results from distributors such as Kaman Industrial Technologies and DXP Enterprises revealed double-digit sales gains.

Connecticut-based Kaman Industrial, which specializes in bearings, power transmission and motion control products, reported third-quarter sales of $223 million, a 37% increase over the same period last year. The results reflect growth from acquisitions as well as a healthier overall business environment, the distributor said in a statement announcing the results.

For the full year, Kaman Industrial said it expects sales to grow 10% to 13%, to between $810 and $830 million.

At DXP Enterprises, which specializes in pumping solutions and MRO supplies, sales rose 20% in the third quarter to $172 million; earnings rose 17% to more than $5 million, or 36 cents a share.

DXP’s sales for the first nine months of the year rose 9% to $487 million compared to the first nine months of 2009. Earnings for the first nine months of the year totaled nearly $14 million, or 93 cents a share, compared to just $8 million, or 57 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

In addition to strong quarterly results, industrial distributor Fastenal reported solid monthly gains in October, as net sales increased 17% and daily sales increased 22% compared to October 2009. Fastenal also opened seven new stores during the month, bringing the company’s year-to-date new store openings to 97.

Manufacturers reported strong results this week as well, especially in the bearings/power transmission/motion control segment. Motion control manufacturers Regal Beloit and Allied Motion, as well as bearings makers RBC Bearings and NN Inc., all posted strong third-quarter results:

Regal Beloit
Third-quarter net sales roses 27% for the Wisconsin-based manufacturer, to $465 million, reflecting growth in nearly all of the company’s end markets, including strong demand for energy-efficient products (which accounted for 18% of sales).

Sales in the company’s electrical segment rose 25%, reflecting 5% growth in residential HVAC motors, 23% growth in commercial and industrial motor sales, and 34% growth in global generator sales.

Sales in the manufacturer’s mechanical segment grew by 46%, including $9.5 million of incremental sales from acquired businesses.

The company also grew its international business during the quarter, as sales to regions outside the United States represented 31% of total sales compared to 26% of sales in the same period a year ago.

Allied Motion
Third-quarter sales for Allied Motion rose 47% to $22 million, and the company posted a $1.1 million profit, its highest profit since restructuring in 2002. Third-quarter results include the June acquisition of Agile Systems Inc., which now operates as Allied Motion Canada.

For the first nine months of the year, Allied’s sales rose 35% to nearly $60 million. The company posted net income of more than $2 million, or 33 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $13 million, or $1.67 per share, in the same period last year.

RBC Bearings
Bearings-maker RBC Bearings reported $83 million in sales in its 2011 fiscal second quarter ended Oct. 2; that’s an increase of 31% over sales in the same period last year. Earnings rose 95% to nearly $9 million compared to just over $4 million in the same period a year ago.

RBC credited the strength of various industrial segments, including OEM and distribution markets, for the strong results.

NN Inc.
Bearings maker NN Inc. posted a 38% sales increase for its third quarter, to $91 million, citing improved demand for its products in industrial and automotive end markets.

However, the company reported a net loss of $1 million, or 6 cents a share, during the quarter, which included nearly $5 million in non-operating costs, including close to $4 million for plant closings and restructuring; more than $1 million in foreign currency exchange losses on intercompany loans, and $1 million in start-up costs associated with new products in its Precision Metal Components segment.

NN’s sales for the first nine months of the year totaled $269 million, a 49% increase compared with the first nine months of 2010.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interline’s sales drop 0.4% in Q3 but earnings rise

Interline also buys CleanSource, a janitorial supplies distributor

Interline Brands, Inc. a distributor of maintenance, repair and operations products yesterday reported sales and earnings for the fiscal 3rd quarter ended September 24, 2010.

Sales for the quarter decreased 0.4% compared to the third quarter of 2009. Earnings per diluted share were $0.34 for the third quarter of 2010, an increase of 6% compared to earnings per diluted share of $0.32 for the same period last year. Earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010 included a $0.02 per diluted share charge associated with ongoing improvements to our distribution network.

Michael J. Grebe, Interline's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We've made meaningful progress over the past year toward improving our operating model, which has resulted in better value and service to our customers, and improved margins at all levels of the business. Although we generated only modest growth in certain areas of our business during the third quarter, we have achieved significant productivity gains as evidenced by our 10.3% EBITDA margin. These productivity gains have been driven, in part, by our sales professionals who are focused on building high-quality relationships with targeted customers. This has taken considerable effort over the past few quarters, but we are now better positioned for it. With our end markets continuing to stabilize, we expect to accelerate proven targeted investments to drive growth. We have successfully done this in the past and are confident these investments will yield strong results given the improvements in our operating model."

Sales for the quarter were $276.8 million, a 0.4% decrease compared to sales of $277.9 million in the comparable 2009 period. Interline's facilities maintenance end-market, which comprised 74% of sales, declined 1.5% during the third quarter. The professional contractor end-market, which comprised 15% of sales, increased 0.1% for the quarter. The specialty distributor end-market, which comprised 11% of sales, increased 4.1% for the quarter.

Gross profit increased $2.6 million, or 2.6%, to $104.8 million for the third quarter of 2010, compared to $102.2 million for the third quarter of 2009. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased 110 basis points to 37.9% compared to 36.8% for the third quarter of 2009.

"Our supply chain efforts remain highly focused on reducing our fixed cost structure, driving operating efficiencies, and improving our customer experience through enhanced technology and inventory management. We accomplish this with larger, more sophisticated distribution centers, such as our newest facility in Jacksonville, Florida, which became fully operational during the third quarter. As initial evidence of the success of these types of facilities, in Jacksonville we are now delivering some of the best fill-rates to our customers in the history of our company," commented Kenneth D. Sweder, Interline's Chief Operating Officer.

Sales for the nine months ended September 24, 2010 were $792.2 million, a 1.5% decrease over sales of $804.7 million in the comparable 2009 period.

Gross profit increased $4.4 million, or 1.5%, to $301.5 million for the nine months ended September 24, 2010, compared to $297.1 million in the prior year period.

Interline Brands also announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of CleanSource, In., a distributor of janitorial and sanitation ("JanSan") supplies, for $60.1 million, comprised of $54.6 million in cash plus an earn-out of up to $5.5 million in cash over the next two years, subject to working capital and other closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to be neutral to Interline's fiscal 2010 results after acquisition-related expenses, but accretive to future earnings periods.

CleanSource, a regional JanSan distributor headquartered in San Jose, California, primarily serves institutional facilities in the healthcare and education markets, as well as building services contractors. For the twelve-month period ended September 30, 2010, CleanSource generated approximately $115 million of sales.

"The acquisition of CleanSource fits well with our strategy of acquiring well-run businesses with leadership positions in attractive facilities maintenance markets," said Greber. "In addition to being accretive, we believe the acquisition offers numerous opportunities to grow sales and improve profitability.

"In particular, the acquisition enhances our position in the strategically important JanSan market as well as provides us with an opportunity to expand our national account capability to the West Coast. In addition, the transaction provides the potential for meaningful operating and sales benefits as we leverage our platform to generate cost synergies and sourcing benefits, as well as cross-sell more products to deliver a better value proposition to our customers. We have a very high regard for CleanSource's employees, their culture, and their valued relationships with customers and suppliers. They have a strong service-oriented approach, which is an excellent fit with Interline's culture."

Interline Brands, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Interline provides maintenance, repair and operations products to a diversified customer base made up of facilities maintenance professionals, professional contractors, and specialty distributors primarily throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

CleanSource is a regional distributor of JanSan products in California. CleanSource provides product solutions and value-added services, including over 4,000 SKUs, to help businesses prosper while maintaining safe, healthy environments for their customers and employees. CleanSource was founded in 1956.

Emerson’s sales increased 5% in fiscal 2010

Fourth quarter sales rose 14% from prior year quarter

Diversified manufacturer Emerson Corp. today reported that net sales for fiscal 2010 increased 5 percent to $21.0 billion. Underlying sales declined 1 percent, currency translation added 2 percent and acquisitions added 4 percent. Emerging market sales hit record levels of 34 percent of sales and international sales were 57 percent of total sales. Gross profit margin expanded 2.0 points to a record 39.6 percent for the year and operating profit margin reached 16.7 percent.

Earnings per share from continuing operations grew 15 percent to $2.60, which includes a negative $0.04 impact from the Chloride Group PLC acquisition and a negative $0.05 impact from the reclassification of the appliance motors and U.S. commercial and industrial motors businesses to discontinued operations. Net earnings per share increased 25 percent to $2.84, and includes a $0.20 gain from the sale of Motors and a positive $0.04 impact from the results of divested businesses.

“Because of the work accomplished during the downturn, we had a strong finish to the year. Our September order trends accelerated to 18 percent and reveal tremendous momentum heading into fiscal 2011,” said Chairman and CEO David N. Farr. “We are proud of our employees’ accomplishments and the results we delivered. Looking ahead, 2011 should be an even stronger year.”

Net sales for the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2010, were $5.8 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the prior year quarter. Underlying sales in the quarter increased 12 percent, which excludes a 3 percent impact from acquisitions and a 1 percent unfavorable impact from currency exchange rates. Growth was solid across all global markets. Underlying sales in the quarter grew 9 percent in the U.S., 14 percent in Asia, 15 percent in Europe and 11 percent in Latin America.

“Our fourth quarter results reflect continued strengthening in the global economy and improved demand for Emerson’s products,” Farr said. “Businesses are spending again. That’s good for Emerson. In the midst of the harsh economic downturn of the past couple of years, we did what we’ve done before. We repositioned the company to be stronger than ever before.

Emerson’s Industrial Automation group had strong performance in the quarter, with sales increasing 23 percent including an underlying sales increase of 26 percent, a 4 percent unfavorable impact from currency and a 1 percent favorable impact from acquisitions. Recently, Emerson won a major contract to provide power inverters and plant-wide controls for what will be California’s largest photovoltaic facility.

Its Tools and Storage sales were up 2 percent in the quarter, reflecting flat underlying sales and a 2 percent favorable impact from acquisitions. Strength in the tools and disposer businesses was offset by residential storage weakness

Monday, November 1, 2010

Manufacturing surged in October

PMI rises 2.5 points; manufacturing sector grows for 15th consecutive month

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 56.9 last month, the highest since May, from 54.4, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Readings greater than 50 signal the sector is expanding.

Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of ISM's Manufacturing's Business Survey Committee said the report increases expectations for the quarter.

“The manufacturing sector grew during October, with both new orders and production making significant gains," said Ore. "Since hitting a peak in April, the trend for manufacturing has been toward slower growth. However, this month's report signals a continuation of the recovery that began 15 months ago, and its strength raises expectations for growth in the balance of the quarter. Survey respondents note the recovery in autos, computers and exports as key drivers of this growth. Concerns about inventory growth are lessened by the improvement in new orders during October. With 14 of 18 industries reporting growth in October, manufacturing continues to outperform the other sectors of the economy."

Meanwhile, other reports showed that manufacturing in China expanded in October at the fastest pace in six months, while U.K. factory growth unexpectedly accelerated as hiring and export orders improved.