Rockwell Automation, Inc. reported fiscal 2012 first quarter sales of $1,473.9 million, up 8 percent from $1,365.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Acquisitions contributed 1 percentage point to the increase and currency translation reduced sales by 1 percentage point. Net income was $183.3 million ($1.27 per share) compared to $150.1 million ($1.04 per share) last year, an increase of 22 percent on a per-share basis.
Total segment operating earnings were $283.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, up from $222.0 million in the same period of 2011. Total segment operating margin increased to 19.3 percent from 16.3 percent a year ago primarily due to volume leverage.
Free cash flow was a use of cash of $210.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 after a discretionary pre-tax contribution of $300 million to the company’s U.S. pension trust and payouts of performance-based compensation earned in fiscal 2011. Return on invested capital was 31.5 percent.
Organic sales, total segment operating earnings, total segment operating margin, free cash flow and return on invested capital are non-GAAP measures that are reconciled to GAAP measures in the attachments to this release.
Commenting on the results, Keith D. Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We had great earnings growth on good sales growth in the quarter. Segment margins expanded and EPS growth of 22 percent was very strong. Regional sales growth rates varied, particularly in the solutions businesses. Process had a great quarter with 22 percent sales growth. In this macroeconomic environment, I am pleased with the solid start to the fiscal year.”
Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, “With one quarter behind us, and given our current assessment of global economic and market conditions, we are not changing our sales outlook for the year. Based on fiscal 2012 projected sales of $6.2 billion to $6.5 billion, we are reaffirming our fiscal 2012 earnings per share guidance of $5.05 to $5.45. Although we may see uneven results throughout the year, sales and earnings in our guidance range would represent another record year for the company.”
Following is a discussion of first quarter results for both segments.