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Calgon Carbon Corporation (CCC - Analyst Report) reported third-quarter 2013 earnings of 22 cents per share compared with a loss of 8 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The results were at par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The company posted a net income of $11.9 million in the reported quarter compared with a net loss of $4.5 million recorded in the prior-year quarter. The year-ago quarter’s results were hurt by restructuring charges of $8 million.

Revenues increased roughly 3% year over year to $139.4 million in the reported quarter from $135.5 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.  It was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Currency translation had a negative impact of $3.8 million on sales, stemming from a weaker yen.

Margins and Expenses

Gross margin was 33.3% in the quarter, an increase from 27.3% a year ago. Gross margin was favored by improved plant performance and ongoing cost improvement initiatives.

Selling, administrative and research (SG&A) expenses declined 18.6% year over year to $21 million. The company attributed the decrease to expense control efforts and presence of employee-related costs.

Segment Performance

Revenues from the Activated Carbon and Service segment increased 7% year over year to $123 million in the third quarter, due to improved demand for activated carbon in the environmental water, food and specialty carbon markets, partly offset by lesser demand for activated carbon in the environmental air treatment market.

Equipment revenues decreased 26.3% year over year to $13.4 million on lower sales from ballast water treatment systems and carbon adsorption equipment.

Consumer sales increased 28.2% year over year to $2.9 million in the quarter due to higher demand for activated carbon cloth.

Financial Position

Calgon Carbon ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of roughly $30 million, up 65% year over year. Long-term debt stood at $48.3 million as of Sep 30, 2013, compared with $44.4 million as of Sep 30, 2012.

Outlook

Calgon Carbon, which is among the prominent pollution control companies along with CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE - Snapshot Report), expects to benefit from the implementation of the cost reduction program and corporate initiatives going forward.

The company will also continue to focus on growth opportunities going forward to strengthen its position as a leader in the markets it serves.

Calgon Carbon retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other companies in the pollution control industry worth considering are Sharps Compliance Corp (SMED - Snapshot Report) and Perma-Fix Environmental Services Inc. (PESI - Snapshot Report). While Sharps Compliance carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Perma-Fix Environmental retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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