Strong Cash Position Despite Increased Investments
At July 31, 2012, cash and investment balances were $44.1 million, down from $47.0 million a year ago. Increases in capital expenditures and the $12 million payment to acquire Vista Research, Inc., in the fourth quarter last year were partially offset by cash flows from operations. Accounts receivable increased to $49.9 million compared with $43.2 million at July 31, 2011. Inventories were $50.4 million, essentially unchanged from $50.2 million one year earlier. Average accounts receivable days outstanding remained consistent year-over-year while inventory turns declined slightly. First-half operating cash flows increased to $44.5 million from $26.3 million in the prior year.
Responsibly Managing the Short Term, Focused on Longer-term Opportunities
Said Rykhus, "We remain steadfast in our commitment: helping customers solve great challenges—hunger, safety, environmental protection and energy independence. As customer needs evolve and market dynamics vary, we embrace change, and have the flexibility to shift our operational focus and innovative drive to succeed as a business."Looking ahead, we continue to see positive trends in Applied Technology and, in particular, Engineered Films. For the near-term, Aerostar will continue to be impacted by order variability. We're looking to mitigate that with new customer initiatives that will expand the use of persistent surveillance technologies to border and other non-military applications. Given the company's year-to-date performance and challenging near-term outlook, reaching our long-term earnings growth target of 10-15 percent will be difficult in the current year, but not impossible. We continue to believe that we can reach our target longer term." Concluded Rykhus, "With mostly favorable market dynamics anticipated, we are focused on leveraging our market position, technology and differentiated products to build sales and income. Moreover, we're continuing to invest for the long term, expanding both our base of fixed assets and portfolio of product lines."