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Economic outlook remains troubling, says Applied chairman

Cleveland, OH -- Applied Industrial Technologies has said that its financial results for its fiscal 2004 first quar...


Cleveland, OH — Applied Industrial Technologies has said that its financial results for its fiscal 2004 first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, 2003, were consistent with the company’s previously provided guidance.

Net sales for the quarter were $361,146,000, down 1.9% compared with $368,019,000 in the comparable period a year ago. Earnings per share rose 25%. Net income for the quarter was $4,832,000, or $0.25 per share, versus income of $3,905,000 or $0.20 per share, last year.

“While the economic outlook remains troubling, we continue to make progress on profit levels by focusing on margin management,” said Applied chairman and chief executive officer David L. Pugh.

“Operating margin for the first quarter was particularly strong when you consider last year’s first quarter results included the benefit of relatively high real estate gains. The company also had $359,000 of additional expense in this current quarter as we began to expense stock options pursuant to our election to adopt SFAS 123 and 148. All elements of our balance sheet are well under control, and we are in a solid financial position.

“Looking ahead, our sales guidance for our second quarter is $340 million to $350 million, with earnings per share between $0.20 and $0.25. We are maintaining full year fiscal 2004 guidance for earnings between $1.10 and $1.20 per share with sales ranging from $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion.”

During the first quarter, the company repurchased 91,000 shares of its common stock for approximately $2 million. At Sept. 30, 2003, board authorization was in place to repurchase up to 1 million additional shares.