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Met-Pro Corporation’s first quarter 2013 non-GAAP earnings of 10 cents a share largely missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents a share. However, earnings were higher than the prior-year quarter’s 9 cents a share.

Quarterly profits were impacted by the delay in timing of orders and shipment of projects for certain customers. 

Quarterly Details

The company reported first quarter 2013 revenues of $22.0 million, down 12.9% compared with $25.2 million in the prior-year quarter.      

Bookings for the first quarter were $24.1 million compared with $27.0 million in the prior-year quarter. The company's backlog of orders as of April 30, 2013 was $27.0 million compared with $30.5 million last year. The company expects to ship a major portion of its backlog during the current year.  

Segments

Product Recovery/Pollution Control Technology segment reported first quarter sales of $9 million, down 15% from the year-ago quarter. Despite substantial quoting activity, the timing of purchase orders and shipments on potential large projects lagged a bit in the first quarter.

In the Fluid Handling Technology segment, first quarter net sales were down 14% to $8.1 million. Despite lower volumes, the segment was able to maintain Fluid Handling operating margins at 25.3% for the quarter.

Mefiag Filtration Technology segment reported first quarter net sales of $2.6 million, down about 8% from a year ago, mainly due to lower volume in Europe. Despite lower revenues, operational efficiencies enabled Mefiag to slightly outperform year-ago quarter’s earnings performance with an operating loss of $35,000 this year versus last year's loss of $70,000.

Net sales in the Filtration/Purification Technologies segment decreased 9% from the prior-year quarter, principally due to continued weak municipal demand in the Pristine Water Solutions business unit. However, this segment recorded an operating profit of $117,000 in the quarter, a significant improvement from year-ago quarter’s operating loss of $122,000. Thus, reflecting increased focus on productivity enhancement throughout the organization.

Margins

Gross profit for the quarter was $8.0 million compared with $8.9 million in the prior-year quarter. The decline in gross profit was attributable to lower revenues during the current quarter. However, gross margin was slightly higher at 36.5% compared with 35.5% reported in the prior-year quarter. The increase in gross margin reflects structural and organizational changes to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency, as well as disciplined cost control.  

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $5.7 million for the first quarter compared with $7.2 million in the first quarter of last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses in the year-ago quarter included one-time costs of approximately $0.7 million.

Balance Sheet and Dividend

Exiting the quarter, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $39.4 million with long-term debt of $2.1 billion and shareholders’ equity of $87.8 billion.

On Apr 1, 2013, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.0725 per share, payable on Jun 14, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 31, 2013. This is the 22nd consecutive year that Met-Pro Corporation has paid a cash dividend.

On Apr 22, Met-Pro entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE - Snapshot Report) for approximately $210 million. 

Met-Pro currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other stocks that are worth considering at the moment are Honeywell International Inc. (HON - Analyst Report) and Quanta Services Inc. (PWR - Analyst Report), both having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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