ATLANTA (AP) -- Acuity Brands Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter net income dipped 2 percent, burdened by the costs of cutting jobs in its struggling Spanish division and closing a U.S. plant. Shares tumbled in morning trading Wednesday.
The lighting maker's CEO Vernon Nagel also said Wednesday that there will likely be continued volatility in customer demand and commodity prices for the rest of the fiscal year.
Acuity Brands, which sells lights under brands including Holophane, Gotham and Synergy Lighting Controls, earned $19.5 million, or 46 cents per share in the December-February quarter, compared with $19.9 million, or 45 cents per share, a year ago. The company had fewer shares outstanding in the most recent quarter, which gave a lift to per-share earnings.
Excluding costs for closing a Cochran, Ga., plant and cutting jobs, mostly in Spain, earnings were 57 cents per share.
This missed the 62 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet forecast.
Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 29 increased 10 percent to $457.7 million from $416.1 million due to higher prices and sales volumes. Wall Street expected $455.8 million.
Like many businesses, Acuity Brands is raising prices to offset higher commodity costs. During the quarter, the company's cost of making its products grew 9 percent to $275.8 million, while general, selling and administrative expenses rose 8 percent to $136.3 million.
Nagel said that difficult economic conditions in Spain led the company's division there to report an operating loss of $1.3 million, excluding one-time costs, for the quarter. Nagel cautioned that the Spanish operations will likely report an operating loss in the current quarter, which ends in May.
Acuity Brands also anticipates additional costs of $10 million in the second half of its fiscal year for closing its Georgia plant. It expects annual savings, before taxes, of $8 million from closing the plant.
Acuity Brands expects to save about $1.2 million annually, before taxes, for the Spain job cuts.
The Atlanta-based company's shares tumbled $4.94, or 7.8 percent, to $58.72 in morning trading Wednesday.
- Acuity Brands