Badger Meter earnings dip 18.6%

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2015

Profit at Badger Meter Inc. fell 18.6% in the third quarter, compared against 2014 results, as the Brown Deer maker of water meters and sensors wrestled with tighter margins and a higher tax rate.

The company earned $8.3 million, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Third quarter earnings a year ago were $10.2 million, or 71 cents per share.

It was the third straight quarter of year-over-year earnings declines for the company.

Before the announcement Badger Meter shares closed at $60.14, up 12 cents.

Sales totaled $99.4 million, up 3.2% from the third quarter of 2014.

While the revenue total was a record, "our overall performance was not at the level we anticipated," Badger Meter CEO Richard Meeusen said in a statement.

Sales of municipal water products were up from a year ago, but flow-instrumentation product sales decreased amid continued weakness in the oil and gas markets, and the effect of a weaker Euro, the company said.

Flow-instrumentation products carry higher margins, so the change in the sales mix helped drive down overall profit. Also contributing, the company said, were higher health-care costs, a one-time write-off of older gas radio inventory, and higher expenses stemming from the acquisition of Denver-based National Meter and Automation Inc.

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