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Stock Segment: Jack Henry Starts FY 2012 with record earnings

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Monett-based Jack Henry & Associates Inc. (Nasdaq: JKHY) began its fiscal year with first-quarter earnings of $36.5 million, up 14.8 percent from profits of $31.8 million in the first quarter of the prior year.

“We started out our fiscal 2012 with record first-quarter revenue, gross profit and net income compared to any prior first-quarter period in our history,” Jack Henry President Tony Wormington said in a news release. Revenue increased 5.8 percent to $248.3 million from $234.8 million in the same quarter last year, while gross profit improved by 7.6 percent to $104.4 million from $97 million.

Jack Henry CEO Jack Prim attributed the quarterly performance in part to gradual improved spending by financial institutions.

Among first-quarter financial highlights:
  • Cost of sales increased to $143.9 million from $137.8 million;
  • Operating expenses were $57.8 million, compared to $52.8 million a year before; and
  • Support and services made up 89 percent of revenue. Within that sector, electronic payment services had the largest percentage growth at 12 percent.
Jack Henry & Associates constructs integrated computer systems and processes ATM and debit card transactions for bank and credit unions, with more than 11,300 customers nationwide. At the end of the first quarter, the company’s assets were $1.5 billion. Shares closed Nov. 22 at $31.40, compared to a 52-week range of $24.41 to $34.17.

Mueller Co. posts 3Q loss of $116K
Paul Mueller Co. (OTC: MUEL.PK) posted a net loss of $116,000 during the third quarter, a 112 percent increase compared to a net loss of $1 million in the same quarter last year.

Net sales were $36.8 million during the quarter, roughly flat from a year ago, but cost of sales decreased 14 percent to $24.7 million from $28.8 million.

Domestic sales for the quarter were $24 million with a net loss of $361,000, while the company’s European operation, Mueller BV, had sales of $12.8 million with a net income of $245,000, according to the release.

Third-quarter results were an improvement from the second quarter, when Paul Mueller Co. posted a net loss of $1.2 million, largely due to a one-time expense funding the severance package of Mueller Co. President and CEO Matthew Detelich, who left his position April 19 after six years at the post. David Moore, who was named president and CEO during the third quarter, announced Oct. 19 the company’s plans to hire for as many as 289 jobs within three years and invest $600,000 in new equipment in the next five years. If requirements are met, the company would receive $2.7 million in tax credits through the Missouri Quality Jobs program, administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Springfield-based Paul Mueller Co. manufactures stainless steel equipment and performs on-site construction, repair and maintenance. Shares of the company’s pink sheet stock closed Nov. 22 at $17.80, compared to a 52-week range of $13.50 to $27.

O'Reilly Auto earnings up 27.4% in 3Q
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: ORLY) recorded third-quarter net income of $148.4 million, a 27.4 percent increase compared to earnings of $116.5 million in the same quarter last year.

Earnings per diluted share were $1.10 during the quarter, up from 86 cents per diluted share in third-quarter 2010, according to a company news release.

Sales for the quarter jumped 8 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.43 billion a year ago.
O’Reilly Auto opened 50 stores during the quarter, increasing its store count to 3,707 in 39 states. The company has opened 149 stores and closed 12 during 2011, according to the release.

Third-quarter highlights:
  • Amid a $1 million stock repurchase program initiated in January and expanded in August, the company repurchased 8.2 million shares of its common stock at an average price per share of $61.51 during the quarter for a total investment of $502 million, including sale of stock by top executives. On Nov. 16, O’Reilly Auto’s board approved a resolution to raise its stock repurchase plan by another $500 million.
  • The company increased its employee count to 49,254, compared to 47,334 in the third quarter of 2010.
  • Operating income was $241.1 million, up from $199 million a year ago.
During the quarter, the company paid a one-time monetary penalty of $20.9 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle an investigation of CSK Auto Corp., which O’Reilly acquired in July 2008. The investigation involved CSK’s accounting practices prior to being bought out by O’Reilly, the release said.

As of Sept. 30, the company’s assets were $5.4 billion.

O’Reilly Auto shares closed Nov. 22 at $75.36, compared to a 52-week range of $53.33 to $78.99.

Empire District Electric Earnings climb 9.6%
Joplin-based Empire District Electric Co. (NYSE: EDE) posted third-quarter earnings up 9.6 percent compared to the same period last year. The company reported earnings of $25.2 million – or 60 cents per diluted share – in the quarter, an increase of $2.2 million from the same quarter in 2010. Earnings for the 12 months ended Sept. 30 were $54.7 million, or $1.31 per share, which was up about $8 million compared to the same period last year, according to a company news release.

During the quarter, Empire District employees continued restoration work related to the May 22 tornado. Of the company’s estimated $20 million to $30 million in cleanup and other costs, about $19.1 million has been paid. Some of the ongoing loss of revenue associated with the tornado has been offset by increased customer usage due to storm recovery efforts and rate increases that became effective earlier this year, the release said.

In response to the company’s expected loss of revenues, the level of retained earnings and other relevant factors, the board of directors suspended the company’s quarterly dividend for the third and fourth quarters of 2011. During the board’s Oct. 27 meeting, members reaffirmed their expectation to re-establish the quarterly dividend at roughly 25 cents per share for the first quarter of 2012.

Empire District has roughly 211,000 electric, natural gas and water service customers in four states. The company’s shares were trading at $20.10, compared to a 52-week range of $18.01 to $23.26.

Leggett & Platt sales rise, earnings flat
Despite a 9 percent gain in third-quarter sales, Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG) reported flat quarterly earnings of 31 cents per share.

The Carthage-based manufacturer of engineered components and products for homes, offices and vehicles reported third-quarter sales of $941 million, up $74 million compared to the same period last year.

Officials said the sales growth did not pull up profits because it was primarily tied to inflation and currency rate fluctuation, as well as a change in the company’s steel mill production.

“Though sales were approximately what we anticipated, unit demand was essentially flat,” CEO David Haffner said in a news release. “Gross margin declined, largely due to three factors: competitive pricing pressure in certain product categories; ‘decontenting’ as customers switched to lower-cost and lower-value components; and our intentional effort to reduce inventory levels by curtailing production, which has the side effect of reducing overhead absorption.”

The company’s board of directors increased the quarterly dividend by 1 percent to 28 cents in the third quarter – marking the 40th consecutive annual dividend increase for the company, with a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent.

The company’s shares closed Nov. 22 at $21.18, compared to a 52-week range of $17.80 to $26.95.[[In-content Ad]]

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