|$ in millions except per share amounts|
|Thirteen Weeks Ended||Thirty-nine Weeks Ended|
|Sep 27,||Sep 28,||%||Sep 27,||Sep 28,||%|
|Diluted Net Earnings per Common Share||$||0.89||$||0.60||48||%||$||2.65||$||1.73||53||%|
- Sales for the quarter increased 8 percent over last year, driven by a 24 percent increase in the Contractor segment, along with modest increases in Industrial and Lubrication. Year-to-date sales increased 10 percent, including 4 percentage points from the first quarter impact of the Powder Finishing operations (acquired in April 2012) and strong Contractor segment sales.
- Gross margin rate for the quarter was consistent with last year’s third quarter. Year-to-date gross margin rate was one percentage point higher than last year, which included non-recurring inventory charges in the second quarter related to the acquisition of Powder Finishing.
- Acquisition and divestiture costs for the quarter decreased by $3 million. Year-to-date operating expenses included acquisition and divestiture costs of $1 million, a decrease of $14 million compared to the comparable period last year.
- Other expense (income) included dividend income received from the Liquid Finishing businesses held as a cost-method investment. Dividends were $9 million for the quarter, up from $4 million last year and $24 million year-to-date, up from $8 million last year.
- Lower effective income tax rates in 2013 reflected the effects of higher after-tax dividend income, the renewal of the federal R&D credit, additional benefit from business credits and deductions and foreign earnings taxed at lower rates than in the United States.
- Changes in currency translation rates did not have a significant effect on consolidated operating results. Favorable effects of rate changes in EMEA were offset by unfavorable effects in Asia Pacific.
- Cash flow from operations remained strong through the first nine months of 2013, with $152 million applied to reduction of long-term debt and $74 million returned to investors through dividends and Company stock repurchases.