Pall Corporation (PLL) reported third quarter 2013 pro forma earnings of 74 cents a share, a penny above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 73 cents. The results, however, surpassed the prior-year quarter’s earnings per share (EPS) of 61 cents by 21.3% and also the prior quarter’s EPS of 73 cents. The reported EPS bears a 3 cents negative impact from foreign currency translation.
Total revenue in the quarter declined 2.5% year over year to $641.2 million including sales in local currency that were flat year over year.
Segment wise, the company’s revenue in the Life Sciences segment climbed 5% in local currency to $326.0 million while Industrial segment was down 5 % year over year in local currency to $315 million.
Within the Life Sciences segment, Biopharmaceuticals sales were up 9%. Continued strength in the biotech market and a strong contribution from ForteBio, drove sales growth.
Food & Beverage sales declined 19.0% due to weak capital spending and timing of projects in the Americas and Asia. However, consumables sales were up 2% due to geographic expansion.
Medical sales grew 10.0% year over year and 2% sequentially in local currency, driven by growth in all regions. Hospital Critical Care market and blood media witnessed strong year-on-year sales growth.
Within the Industrial segment, process technologies sales were down 11% in local currency owing to softness in most end-markets, particularly in Europe and Asia. Systems sales dropped 24% due to weakness in capital spend and timing of projects.
Similarly, micro electronics segment sales declined 10% in local currency. The decline was primarily due to the continuing weakness in display and data storage end-markets.
Pall’s Aerospace results were driven by particularly strong Commercial performance, with sales up about 26% in local currency. Military Aerospace sales were up 14% year over year. The year-over-year sales comparison also reflects the effect of the company’s global ERP go-live last year.
Gross margin in the quarter was 52.1% of sales, compared with 50.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The increase was primarily driven by decline in cost of goods sold. The operating margin for the quarter also surged to 17.4% from 15.0% in the prior-year quarter.
Life Sciences operating margin was 24.9% of sales compared with 23.7% of sales in the prior-year quarter, while Industrial segment operating margin was 14.6% of sales versus 11.6% of sales in the third quarter of 2012.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Cash and cash equivalents were $903.9 million with long-term debt of $467.6 million and shareowner’s equity of $1.7 billion.
Net cash flow from operations year to date was $206.9 million compared with $326.4 million as on Apr 30, 2012. The decline in cash flow was primarily attributable to the divestiture of the Blood product line business to Haemonetics.
The weak macroeconomic condition, especially in Europe and some of the markets in America is a matter of concern. Further, the company expects slow or moderate overall growth for the year.
Based on this concern, the company has taken some cost reduction initiatives with a focus on the Industrial segment in order to improve the segment’s performance. Further, the company has lowered the upper end of the earnings guidance for fiscal 2013 to a range of $2.95 to $3.05 per share from $2.95 to $3.15 mentioned earlier.
Pall currently has a Zacks Ranks #3 (Hold). However, some other socks operating in the same industry which are worth reckoning at the moment are CECO Environmental Corporation (CECE), Industrial Services of America, Inc. (IDSA) and Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (BIN). All the three have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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