Sunshine in Milwaukee

It's been a lovely fall here in the Midwest. Lots of sunshine. And today the sun was shining just a bit brighter up the road in Milwaukee. This morning, Rockwell Automation released it's 2010 fourth-quarter earnings report, which gave CEO Keith Nosbusch and the rest of the Rockwell gang a lot of reasons to smile.

The money quotes -- to coin a phrase -- are these:

". . . fiscal 2010 fourth quarter revenue of $1,356.9 million, up 26 percent compared to $1,074.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Fiscal 2010 fourth-quarter net income was $131.3 million or $0.91 per share, compared to $28.9 million or $0.20 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

"Total segment operating earnings were $205.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, up from $79.6 million in the same period of 2009. Total segment operating margin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 increased to 15.1 percent from 7.4 percent a year ago, primarily due to higher segment operating margin in the Architecture & Software segment.

"Free cash flow was $19.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 after a discretionary pre-tax contribution of $150 million to the company's U.S. pension trust."

The entire 2010 record is a bright one.

"Sales for the full fiscal year were $4,857.0 million, up 12 percent compared to $4,332.5 million in fiscal 2009. Foreign currency translation contributed 2 percentage points to the increase. Income from continuing operations was $440.4 million or $3.05 per share, compared to $217.9 million or $1.53 per share in fiscal 2009. Segment operating earnings were $717.2 million, up 67 percent compared to $429.7 million in fiscal 2009. Full fiscal year 2010 free cash flow from continuing operations was $410.7 million, after the previously-mentioned pension contribution in the fourth quarter. Return on invested capital was 22.8 percent."

The entire press release, with more details, can be found here.

So another major automation vendor is reporting good results for the year--yet another indicator that maybe there is some light at the end of this recessionary tunnel. We're not out of the woods yet, but at least for automation vendors, there are signs that people are ready to invest again.  

 

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