We're in the midst of another fiscal earnings reporting period, with many well-known industrial distributors and suppliers posting their latest quarterly performance. Here's a roundup of the key figures posted by 3M, Rockwell Automation, Illinois Tool Works and H.B. Fuller.
St. Paul, MN-based industrial conglomerate 3M reported its 2017 Q4 and full year financial results on Thursday, which showed continued solid gains in its Industrial segment.
3M posted Q4 total sales of $8.0 billion, up 9.0 percent year-over-year (YoY), with organic local-currency sales growth of 6.0 percent. That follows Q3 total sales growth of 6.0 percent and organic growth of 6.6 percent. 3M had sales growth in all business groups and geographic areas. The company had a one-time tax charge of $762 million in Q4, resulting in a 55 percent YoY profit decrease to $523 million. Excluding that charge, Q4 profit grew 11.7 percent. Q4 operating profit of $1.82 billion increased 9.4 percent.
By business segment in Q4:
- Industrial sales of $2.7 billion increased 6.9 percent YoY, with organic local-currency growth of 3.9 percent. Sales grew in abrasives, automotive and aerospace solutions, industrial adhesives and tapes, automotive aftermarket and separation and purification, while sales declined in advanced materials. Operating profit decreased 4.4 percent.
- Safety and Graphics sales of $1.5 billion increased 15.0 percent YoY, with organic growth of 10.7 percent. Sales increased in all businesses, led by personal safety, roofing granules, and transportation safety. Operating profit increased 50 percent.
- Health Care sales of $1.5 billion increased 6.0 percent YoY, with organic growth of 3.1 percent. Operating profit increased 12.3 percent.
- Electronics and Energy sales of $1.3 billion increased 12.5 percent, with organic growth of 11.0 percent. Operating profit increased 2.6 percent.
- Consumer sales of $1.2 billion increased 7.3 percent YoY, with organic growth of 5.4 percent. Operating profit increased 22.9 percent.
On a geographic basis in Q4:
- Asia Pacific sales grew 14.4 percent, and 11.9 percent organically
- EMEA sales grew 17.1 percent, and 6.8 percent organically
- Latin America/Canada sales grew 4.0 percent, and 2.5 percent organically
- U.S. sales grew 3.0 percent, and 2.8 percent organically
For the full year, 3M's 2017 total sales of $31.7 billion increased 5.1 percent YoY, with organic growth of 5.2 percent. Organic growth was achieved in all business groups and geographic areas. The company's 2017 total profit of $4.86 billion was down 3.8 percent, while operating profit increased 8.3 percent.
Milwaukee, WI-based Rockwell automation reported its 2018 first quarter results on Wednesday, showing that total sales of $1.6 billion increased 6.5 percent YoY, with organic sales growing 5.3 percent. The company took a net loss of $236.4 million in Q1, compared to a $214.7 million profit a year earlier.
By business segment in Q1:
- Architecture & Software sales of $746.9 million increased 7.3 percent YoY
- Control Products & Solutions sales of $839.7 million increased 5.8 percent YoY
“We had a good start to the fiscal year, with more than five percent organic sales growth in the first quarter," Rockwell chairman and CEO Blake Moret said. "Growth continued to be broad-based across geographies. Heavy industry verticals performed well, supported by recovery in oil and gas. I am very pleased with our twelve percent Adjusted EPS growth in the quarter."
Illinois Tool Works
Glenview, IL-based industrial supplier Illinois Tool Works reported its 2017 Q4 and full year fiscals on Wednesday, showing accelerated sales gains. The company posted Q4 sales of $3.6 billion, up 6.8 percent YoY, with organic sales up 3.7 percent. Those figures outpace Q3 total sales growth of 4 percent and organic growth of 2 percent.
During Q4, six of the company's seven business segments achieved YoY organic growth, led by Test & Measurement and Electronics (+9 percent), Welding (+6 percent) and Specialty Products (+5 percent). ITW took a Q4 net loss of $76 million compared to a $507 million profit a year earlier, but Q4 2017 included a one-time $658 million tax charge. Q4 operating profit of $850 million increased 14.6 percent YoY.
For the full year, ITW's total 2017 sales of $14.3 billion increased 5.1 percent, with organic growth up 2.9 percent. Organic growth was achieved in all seven business segments, led by Test & Measurement and Electronics (+4.8 percent), Automotive OEM (+4.1 percent), Speciality Products (+3.5 percent) and Welding (+3.2 percent). Profit for the full year was $1.69 billion, down 17.1 percent.
St. Paul, MN-based adhesives supplier H.B. Fuller reported its 2017 Q4 and full year results on Tuesday for the period ended Dec. 2, 2017. The company — which acquired Royal Adhesives & Sealants this past October for $1.58 billion — posted Q4 total sales of $678.2 million, up 18 percent YoY, while the company took a net loss of $7.6 million, compared to a $39.1 million profit a year earlier. Excluding the Royal acquisition, Q4 had a $38.9 million profit.
For the full year, H.B. Fuller's 2017 sales of $2.3 billion increased 10 percent from 2016, while 2017 profit of $58.2 million compared with $124.1 million a year earlier.
"The pricing actions we implemented early in the year had a positive impact on our margins, however, as a result of Hurricane Harvey and continued environmental controls in China, raw materials continued to increase during the fourth quarter," company president and CEO Jim Owens said. "We have implemented additional pricing actions that will offset inflation in the first half of 2018. Engineering Adhesives, Asia Pacific and Americas all delivered double-digit sales growth, with results above our long-term targets."