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Donaldson Reports First Quarter Results

“Our first quarter sales and EPS were consistent with the updated outlook we announced in late October,” said Bill Cook, Chairman, President and CEO. “While we finished FY12 very strong, we saw conditions at many of our Customers decelerate in September and October. Incoming orders from our Engine OEM and Disk Drive Customers decreased as they lowered their production schedules to deal with declining end market demand and to also reduce their inventory levels. Utilization of on-road and off-road equipment also weakened during this period, resulting in lower order rates for our replacement filters. Fortunately, our Gas Turbine Products business helped offset these weaker conditions with a 33 percent year-over-year sales increase. We expect our Gas Turbine project shipments to continue increasing in our second and third quarters. Finally, foreign currency translation decreased our sales by almost 3 percent due to the stronger US dollar versus last year. Excluding the foreign exchange impact, sales decreased less than 1 percent in the quarter.”

“Our operating margin was 12.5 percent due to lower fixed cost absorption and a mix shift to large Gas Turbine project shipments. We were able to partially offset these with our Continuous Improvement initiatives. Looking forward, we have initiated actions which will better align our manufacturing and operating expenses with our expected Customer demand.”

“We see the current downturn as short-term primarily due to high levels of global uncertainty. We expect to return to year-over-year growth in our second quarter. A continuing benefit of our diversified portfolio of filtration businesses around the world is that regions including Latin America, South Africa, and Australia, and product groups like Gas Turbine and Integrated Venting Solutions, are all projecting strong growth. As a result, we are forecasting our Company’s full-year sales to increase 0 to 4 percent, and our FY13 EPS forecast is between $1.68 and $1.88 per share.”

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