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Donaldson Company's CEO Discusses F4Q2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now I’d like to turn the call over to Bill Cook. Bill?

William Cook

Thanks Rich and good morning everyone. As you’ve seen in the press release we issued earlier this morning, we set fourth quarter records for sales, operating margin, net earnings, and earnings per share. This very successful conclusion to our fiscal ’12 also resulted in record sales and profits for the full year. Our fiscal ’12 performance means that we have now delivered earnings records in 21 of the last 23 years.

Now I’d like to take a few minutes to summarize our results for the fourth quarter. Our fourth quarter sales were $657 million, up 5% over last year. Excluding the negative impact of foreign currency translation due to the stronger U.S. dollar, we had organic sales growth of 11%, which we are very, very pleased with. This combination of our 11% organic sales growth and a 15.1% operating margin helped to deliver an increase in pre-tax income of 13% and an EPS increase of 12%, resulting in a record $0.43 per share.

As you know, we have two reporting segments and I will now cover highlights for each. First in our engine product segment, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, our local currency sales in the quarter increased 6% over last year. The primary drivers of this increase were our OEM businesses – off-road and on-road – which were up 11 and 6% respectively. Our off-road product sales were up 16% in the Americas and 11% in Europe as the agricultural equipment markets we serve remain strong globally. This offset slower growth in Asia where excess inventory of mining and construction equipment in China has impacted the overall Asian off-road equipment market.

The 6% increase in our on-road product sales was primarily due to higher North American new heavy truck build rates at our customers. Class A heavy truck builds in North America were 76,000 in our last fiscal quarter, a 24% increase over last year. Partially offsetting this was a 5% decrease in new truck sales in Japan. Now we also had help from our engine aftermarket business as our replacement filter sales were up 6% globally. Replacement filter sales in the Americas were up 10% with solid growth in sales to our independent dealers and distributors. The strong growth in the Americas offset 1% growth in Europe and a 5% decrease in Asia mainly due to the continuing slow recovery in China.

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