Corporate expenses for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $8.8 million, $1.7 million below the comparable prior year period as increased G+I spending at the corporate level was offset by lower incentive compensation and idle facility holding costs.
Net debt at May 31, 2012 was $319 million (total debt of $399 million less $80 million of cash), a reduction of approximately $148 million during the quarter. This decline was the result of robust quarterly cash flow and the conversion to common stock of $117 million of the Company’s 2% Convertible Bonds, which more than offset the deployment of approximately $11 million on acquisitions and $19 million in stock repurchases (buy-back of approximately 0.7 million shares of common stock). At May 31, 2012, the Company had a net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio of 1.1 times, and its entire $600 million revolver available.
Commenting on Actuant’s outlook, Arzbaecher stated, “As we enter the fourth quarter, we are very pleased with the execution of our business model which is driving record sales, cash flow and EPS, while simultaneously investing for future growth. The moderating trends across our markets are in line with expectations, yet currency translation and European macroeconomic headwinds create uncertainty. Given these items, we expect to complete fiscal 2012 with full year sales of $1.60-1.61 billion and EPS in the $2.03-2.08 range. We project fiscal 2012 full year free cash flow to be in the $180-185 million range, representing a free cash flow to earnings conversion well above 100%.
As we look ahead to fiscal 2013, we expect to see more uneven end market demand, notably in Europe and China. Based on our current evaluation of broad economic indicators as well as Actuant’s business trends and specific growth drivers, we anticipate fiscal 2013 core sales growth of 3-5%. Assuming current foreign currency exchange rates and modest acquisition revenue carryover, we expect total sales of $1.665-1.700 billion. The benefit of volume, operational excellence initiatives, lower interest costs and completed share repurchases should drive our fiscal 2013 EPS expectation in the range of $2.15-2.30. We expect full year free cash flow in the $195-200 million range.