Applied Dawdles on Q4 Figures

Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AIT) shares slouched on the release of fourth-quarter numbers Wednesday.

Net sales for the quarter decreased 1.7% to $882.7 million from $897.7 million in the prior year. The change in sales includes a 2.2% increase from acquisitions, partially offset by a negative 0.4% from foreign currency and a negative 0.8% selling day impact. Excluding these factors, sales decreased 2.7% on an organic daily basis.

Net income was $39.8 million, or $1.02 per share, compared to $40.4 million, or $1.03 per share, in the prior year. EBITDA was $87.6 million compared to $87.0 million in the prior year.

CEO Neil A. Schrimsher said, "Despite slower end-market demand and ongoing inflationary headwinds, we ended fiscal 2019 on an encouraging note with fourth quarter margins, EBITDA, and free cash meeting or exceeding our expectations. This demonstrates our ability to adapt, execute, and generate cash in any demand environment, as well as benefit from various self-help initiatives.

"Consistent with recent macroeconomic industrial reports, we saw a slowing in demand across industrial, process, and energy end markets during the quarter. Combined with ongoing fluid power technology market headwinds and difficult comparisons, our sales declined organically."

The Company also provided its initial outlook for fiscal 2020. For the full year, the Company is forecasting an EPS range of $4.20 to $4.50 on a change in sales of down 2% to up 2%, including down 5% to down 1% on an organic daily basis. In addition, the Company is forecasting free cash of $200 million to $220 million, or up 30% at the mid-point.

Shares in AIT gave back $2.73, or 5.1%, to $50.83