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Nordson Corporation Reports Record Third Quarter and Year-to-Date Sales, Operating Profit and Earnings Per Share

21 Aug 2008

        •   Third Quarter Sales Grow 12 Percent to $288 Million 
        •   Third Quarter Operating Profit Increases 25 Percent to $51 Million
        •   Third Quarter Diluted Earnings Per Share Increase 29 Percent to $0.93 

WESTLAKE, Ohio –  August 21, 2008 – Nordson Corporation (Nasdaq:NDSN) today reported 
record third quarter and year-to-date sales, operating profit and diluted earnings per share.  For the quarter ending July 31, 2008, sales reached $288 million, a 12 percent increase over sales in the same period a year ago.  Volume increased 6 percent, including the first year effect of acquisitions which added 3 percent.  Favorable effects of currency translation added 6 percent to sales growth.  Operating profit for the quarter improved to $51 million, a 25 percent increase over the same period a year ago.  Third quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.93, an increase of 29 percent over the prior year’s quarter.   

“Despite significant challenges in the U.S. economic environment, Nordson delivered another very strong quarter to its shareholders,” said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Edward P. Campbell.  “The diverse nature of Nordson’s businesses and end market exposures provided the basis for our ongoing record performance.  Sales continued to grow at double digit rates, and operating margin continued to improve, expanding to 18 percent in the current quarter from 16 percent in the same quarter a year ago.”   

Segment & Regional Results
Sales increased 20 percent in the Adhesive Dispensing segment and 18 percent in the Advanced Technology segment compared to results in the third quarter a year ago.  Sales decreased 18 percent in the Industrial Coating and Automotive segment.  “Our performance in the quarter was driven by strong revenue growth in our two largest segments,” said Campbell.  “Industrial Coating and Automotive, our smallest segment, was negatively impacted by cyclical weakness in durable goods markets such as appliances and automobiles.”    

On a geographic basis, third quarter sales increased 28 percent in Europe, 19 percent in Asia Pacific and 8 percent in Japan compared to the same period a year ago.  Sales decreased 5 percent in the United States and 3 percent in the Americas.   

Fiscal 2008 Year-to-Date Results
For the first nine months of fiscal 2008, sales were a record $827 million, an 18 percent increase over the first nine months of fiscal 2007.  Organic volume increased 7 percent, the first-year-effect of acquisitions added 5 percent and the favorable effects of currency translation added 6 percent.  Earnings per share on a diluted basis for the first nine months reached an all-time high of $2.53, representing a 41 percent increase over the same period a year ago.   

On a segment basis, first-nine-month sales increased 27 percent in the Advanced Technology segment and 19 percent in the Adhesive Dispensing segment, while sales declined 1 percent in the Industrial Coating and Automotive segment, all over the same period a year ago.  On a geographic basis, first-nine-month sales increased 30 percent in Asia Pacific, 25 percent in Europe, 12 percent in Japan, 8 percent in the United States and 3 percent in the Americas.  “Geographically, powerful sales growth of more than 30 percent in Asia Pacific and 25 percent in Europe helped to balance our slower growing regions,” said Campbell.       

Order Rates and Backlog
Order rates for the 12 week period ending August 17, 2008, measured in constant currency, increased 3 percent over the same period a year ago.  Order rates by segment and geography are provided in the accompanying financial tables, with pro-forma growth in order rates calculated as though fiscal year 2007 acquisitions were owned in both years.  

Backlog at the end of the third quarter was approximately $128 million, an increase of 5 percent compared with $122 million at the same time a year ago.  Backlog increased by approximately $26 million or 25 percent from the end of fiscal 2007 to the end of the current year’s third quarter.  Backlog amounts are calculated at July 31, 2008 exchange rates.   

Outlook
“Though the business environment in certain geographic and end markets continues to be challenging, we expect another record year in 2008 for revenues and earnings per share,” said Campbell.   “While operating from a position of strength, we will continue to focus aggressively on improving our operating performance and making the adjustments necessitated by the changing external economic forces that can impact our future.”  

For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008, sales are expected to be in the range of down 1 percent to up 3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.  Diluted earnings per share are expected in the range of $0.84 to $0.94.  The midpoint of this range would be a 2 percent increase over the $0.87 per share earned in the prior year’s fourth quarter.  This earnings per share range excludes any non-recurring costs that may be incurred in connection with operating improvement activities.   

Nordson will broadcast its third-quarter conference call on the investor relations page of its Web site, www.nordson.com, on Friday, August 22, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. EDT. For persons unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available for 14 days after the event. Information about Nordson’s investor relations and shareholder services is available from Barbara Price, Manager, Shareholder Relations, at (440) 414-5344.  

Except for historical information and comparisons contained herein, statements included in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements,” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, as discussed in the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that could cause actual results to differ.

Nordson Corporation is one of the world’s leading producers of precision dispensing equipment that applies adhesives, sealants and coatings to a broad range of consumer and industrial products during manufacturing operations. The company also manufactures equipment used in the testing and inspection of electronic components as well as technology-based systems for curing and surface treatment processes. Headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, Nordson has more than 4,100 employees worldwide, and direct operations and sales support offices in 34 countries.

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Investor Contact:
Barbara Price, Manager, Shareholder Relations
(440) 414-5344  bprice@nordson.com  

Media Contact:
James R. Jaye, Director, Corporate Communications
(440) 414-5639  jjaye@nordson.com     

                                                             
 A summary of sales, income and earnings is presented in the attached tables.