Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Rockwell Automation (ROK) Tops Q2 Earnings, Trims View

Rockwell Automation, Inc. ROK reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.37 in second-quarter fiscal 2016, down 14% from $1.59 earned in the prior-year quarter as challenging heavy industry end markets, particularly the oil and gas space, offset modest growth in the consumer and automotive verticals. Earnings, however, outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32 and recorded a positive earnings surprise of 4%.

Including one-time items, the company’s earnings came in at $1.28 per share, down 15% from the year-ago quarter figure of $1.51.

Total revenue was $1,440 million in the quarter, down 7%. Nevertheless, reported revenues managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,397 million. Organic sales fell 3.6%, while unfavorable foreign currency translations had an impact of 3.5%.

Operational Update

Cost of sales declined 4% year over year to $846 million. Gross profit tanked 12% to $594 million from $673 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin contracted 220 basis points (bps) to 41.2%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 6% to $359 million. Consolidated segment operating income was $278 million, down 17% from $334 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating margin contracted 230 bps to 19.3% due to lower sales and unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations.

Segment Results

Architecture & Software: Net sales dropped 7% year over year to $630 million. Organic sales decreased 3.3%, while currency translations hurt sales by 3.3%. Segment operating earnings were $155 million, compared with $201 million a year ago. Operating margin contracted 520 bps to 24.6% from 29.8% a year ago due to unfavorable currency effects, lower sales and increased spending.

Control Products & Solutions: Net sales fell 7% to $811 million. Organic sales declined 3.9%, while currency translations dented sales by 3.6%. Segment operating earnings dropped 8% to $123 million from $133 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin remained flat at 15.2%.

Financials

As of Mar 31, 2016, cash and cash equivalents were $1,396 million, down from $1,449 million as of Dec 31, 2015. As of Mar 31, 2016, long-term debt was $1,513 million, up from $1,492 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Cash from operations in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 was $399 million, compared with $553 million in the prior-year quarter. Return on invested capital was 32% as of Mar 31, 2016, flat with the year-ago quarter.

During the reported quarter, Rockwell Automation repurchased 1.3 million of its shares for $126.5 million. As of Mar 31, 2016, $196.9 million was available under the existing share repurchase authorization.

Guidance

Rockwell Automation narrowed its fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings per share guidance to the range of $5.75 to $6.15 from the earlier projection of $5.70–$6.20. Fiscal 2016 revenues are projected at $5.9 billion, factoring in a 3% currency headwind and a 1.5–4.5% organic sales decline.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation is a leading global provider of industrial automation equipment, application-specific integrated software and consulting design services. It also offers industrial automation power, control and information solutions.

Currently, Rockwell carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the sector include W.W. Grainger, Inc. GWW, Titan International Inc. TWI and Altra Industrial Motion Corp. AIMC. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
ROCKWELL AUTOMT (ROK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TITAN INTL INC (TWI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALTRA INDUS MOT (AIMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GRAINGER W W (GWW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research