At Aclara, Management expects approximately $50 million of sales growth in 2013, driven primarily by the launch of the SoCalGas AMI project. Given some of the smaller project slips in 2012, Management is taking a more conservative approach in forecasting revenue related to these customers. Considering the identified project revenue and profit from 2012 noted above being realized in 2013, along with the absence of the additional unexpected costs at the end of 2012, and the additional revenue generated from SoCalGas in 2013, Management expects meaningful EBIT margin expansion at Aclara in 2013.
Share Repurchase Program As noted in the August 9, 2012, earning release, the Company's Board of Directors authorized an expanded stock repurchase program whereby Management may repurchase shares of its outstanding stock in the open market and otherwise throughout the period ending September 30, 2013. The total value authorized is the lesser of $100 million, or the dollar limitation imposed by Section 6.07 of the Company's Credit Agreement dated May 14, 2012.
During the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2012, the Company spent approximately $5.4 million to repurchase approximately 150,000 shares. Management expects to continue purchasing shares in the open market under this expanded authorization.
Conference Call The Company will host a conference call today, October 9, at 4 p.m. Central Time, to discuss this announcement. A live audio webcast will be available on the Company's website at www.escotechnologies.com. Please access the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software. A replay of the conference call will be available for seven days on the Company's website noted above or by phone (dial 1-888-843-7419 and enter the pass code 33496503).Forward-Looking Statements Statements in this press release regarding the amount and timing of the Company's expected 2012 and 2013 earnings, EPS, sales, orders, the cost, savings and Test segment EBIT margins resulting from restructuring activities, specific 2013 sales and EBIT by business unit and the long-term success of the Company, and any other statements which are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws. Investors are cautioned that such statements are only predictions and speak only as of the date of this release, and the Company undertakes no duty to update. The Company's actual results in the future may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties that exist in the Company's operations and business environment including, but not limited to: the risk factors described in Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011; changes in requirements of SoCalGas; SoCalGas' ability to successfully negotiate appropriate terms and conditions with other necessary project participants; the performance of SoCalGas employees, vendors and other participants in connection with project responsibilities; the Company's successful performance of the SoCalGas agreement; financial constraints impacting SoCalGas; the success of the Company's competitors; changes in federal or state energy laws; the Company's successful performance of its AMI contracts; site readiness issues with Test segment customers; weakening of economic conditions in served markets; changes in customer demands or customer insolvencies; competition; intellectual property rights; technical difficulties; unforeseen charges impacting corporate operating expenses; the performance of the Company's international operations; material changes in the costs and availability of certain raw materials including steel and copper; termination for convenience of customer contracts; timing and magnitude of future contract awards; containment of engineering and development costs; performance issues with key customers, suppliers and subcontractors; labor disputes; changes in laws and regulations, including but not limited to changes in accounting standards and taxation requirements; costs relating to environmental matters arising from current or former facilities; uncertainty regarding the ultimate resolution of current disputes, claims, litigation or arbitration; and the Company's successful execution of internal operating and restructuring plans. Non-GAAP Financial Measures The financial measures EBIT and EBIT margin are presented in this press release. The Company defines EBIT as earnings before interest and taxes from continuing operations, and EBIT margin as a percent of net sales. EBIT and EBIT margin are not recognized in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, management believes that EBIT and EBIT margin are useful in assessing the operational profitability of the Company's business segments because they exclude interest and taxes, which are generally accounted for across the entire Company on a consolidated basis. EBIT is also one of the measures used by Management in determining resource allocations within the Company as well as incentive compensation. The Company believes that the presentation of EBIT and EBIT margin provides important supplemental information to investors by facilitating comparisons with other companies, many of which use similar non-GAAP financial measures to supplement their GAAP results. The use of non-GAAP financial measures is not intended to replace any measures of performance determined in accordance with GAAP. ESCO, headquartered in St. Louis, is a proven supplier of special purpose utility solutions for electric, gas, and water utilities, including hardware and software to support advanced metering applications and fully automated intelligent instrumentation. In addition, the Company provides engineered filtration products to the aviation, space, and process markets worldwide and is the industry leader in RF shielding and EMC test products. Further information regarding ESCO and its subsidiaries is available on the Company's website at www.escotechnologies.com. SOURCE ESCO Technologies Inc.
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