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Paul Mueller Co.’s order backlog was $107.3 million as of March 31.
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Paul Mueller Co.’s order backlog was $107.3 million as of March 31.

Mueller Co. improves first-quarter profits

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Springfield-based Paul Mueller Co. (OTC: MUEL) reported increased first-quarter profits as the company worked on its order backlog amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The stainless steel equipment manufacturer posted net income of $875,000, compared with a net loss of roughly $1.1 million in first quarter 2019, according to a news release. Diluted share earnings were 73 cents, compared with a 90-cent loss in the same period last year. For the first quarter 2019 loss, officials last year cited a slowdown in its pharmaceutical business.

In the quarterly earnings report released late last week, Mueller Co. officials said “the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented uncertainty and requires us to operate in new and different ways.” However, the company’s work backlog of $107.3 million as of March 31 is keeping employees busy “for the next several months,” officials said, noting its service and repair business has been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

“Selling activities are more difficult and customers visiting our facilities has virtually stopped,” officials said in the release, noting no confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported at its facilities. “So far, there has been minimal disruption in our supply chain.”

Mueller Co.’s first quarter sales increased by less than 1% to $42.2 million; decreased expenses resulted in the bottom-line increase to net income. As of March 31, the company’s assets were $134.6 million, according to the release.

Mueller Co. reported its 2019 earnings results earlier in April. The company’s 2019 net income rose 150% to $6.6 million.

Mueller Co.'s over-the-counter stock opened this morning at $24.50 per share, compared with a 52-week range of $18 to $32.50.

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