Manufacturers

Rockwell Q4 Earnings Top Estimates

Rockwell Q4 Earnings Top Estimates

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rockwell Automation Inc. (ROK) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $345.9 million.

The Milwaukee-based company said it had net income of $2.80 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $2.11 per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.03 per share.

The industrial equipment and software maker posted revenue of $1.73 billion in the period, which missed Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.78 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $535.5 million, or $4.21 per share. Revenue was reported as $6.67 billion.

Rockwell Automation expects full-year earnings in the range of $8.85 to $9.25 per share.

Rockwell Automation shares have fallen nearly 10 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 3 percent. The stock has dropped 10 percent in the last 12 months.

Commenting on the fourth quarter results, Blake D. Moret, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “I am pleased with our results for the quarter. Our 7 percent organic sales growth was in line with expectations, driven by growth across a very broad range of industries. Adjusted EPS increased by 25 percent, and free cash flow was once again very strong. We also finished the year with healthy backlog.

“Fiscal 2018 was an important year for Rockwell Automation, marked by strong operating and financial performance, as well as actions that set the stage for our continued success. Organic growth was up 5.5 percent, segment operating margins expanded, Adjusted EPS was up 20 percent, and free cash flow conversion was 114 percent. We had several other key accomplishments this year, including our partnership with PTC, which will accelerate future growth. In the wake of U.S. tax reform, we significantly increased our capital deployment to deliver long-term shareowner value, including our $1 billion equity investment in PTC, $1.5 billion of share repurchases, and raising the annual dividend twice for a total increase of over 20 percent. We continue to invest for the long-term success of our company, customers, and our employees.”

Moret continued, “We are executing well on our key strategic initiatives. Revenues from Information Solutions and Connected Services, which represent new value of The Connected Enterprise, grew double digits this year. Logix grew 7 percent organically and Process grew double digits. Our partnership with PTC is off to a great start. Our employees and customers are excited about the market-leading capabilities of our joint offering. We have a robust funnel of opportunities and look forward to sharing more about our progress at our investor day next week.”

Commenting on the outlook, Moret added, “We are expecting another good year of growth and financial performance in fiscal 2019. While global trade tensions create uncertainty, we have not seen an impact on customer demand as industrial companies continue to focus on productivity. Internally, we are taking actions that are expected to mitigate the impact of tariffs on our operations. Macroeconomic indicators remain favorable across most geographies, with PMI metrics above 50 and continued Industrial Production growth. We have balanced exposure across a broad range of industries, and we expect heavy industries and consumer verticals to continue to be the strongest growth drivers.

“I want to thank our employees, partners, and suppliers for their contributions this year,” added Moret. “Their dedication makes a difference and continues to add value to our Company every day.”

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This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ROK at https://www.zacks.com/ap/ROK

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