Rockwell Automation sales down 2% year-over-year

Board authorises additional $1bn for share repurchases

Blake D Moret, chairman and chief executive officer, Rockwell Automation.
Blake D Moret, chairman and chief executive officer, Rockwell Automation.

Rockwell Automation reported fiscal 2019 third quarter sales of $1,665.1mn, down 2% from $1,698.7mn in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Organic sales grew 0.5%. Currency translation decreased sales by 2.5 percentage points.

Fiscal 2019 third quarter net income was $261.4mn, or $2.2 per share, compared to $198.6mn, or $1.58 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. The increases in net income and EPS were primarily due to fair value adjustments in connection with the PTC investment.

Fiscal 2019 third quarter adjusted EPS was $2.40, up 11% compared to $2.16 in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. The increase in adjusted EPS was primarily due to lower incentive compensation expense, higher organic sales, and lower share count, partially offset by higher net interest expense.

Pre-tax margin was 19.3% in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to 14.8% in the same period last year. The increase in pre-tax margin was primarily due to the PTC adjustments.

Total segment operating margin was 23.8% compared to 22.5% a year ago. The increase in total segment operating margin was primarily due to lower incentive compensation expense, partially offset by higher investment spending. Total segment operating earnings were $395.9mn in the third quarter of fiscal 2019, up 3.5% from $382.6mn in the same period of fiscal 2018.

Commenting on the third quarter results, Blake D Moret, chairman and chief executive officer, Rockwell Automation, said: "Globally, organic sales were up 0.5%. In general, we saw strong growth in our longer-cycle end markets, while shorter-cycle end markets weakened. Organic sales growth in the quarter was led by heavy industries, including oil and gas, pulp and paper, and mining, as well as life sciences, each of which grew double digits.

“Growth was tempered by year-over-year declines in automotive, semiconductor, and food and beverage. At the same time, information solutions and connected services continued to do very well, growing double digits in the quarter. Adjusted EPS increased by 11% in the quarter."

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