Chicago -- Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ:LFUS) today reported sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2012.
“Sales were higher for all three businesses and margins increased consistent with these higher sales levels. It appears that the electronics inventory correction is now behind us as evidenced by further reductions in distributor inventories, increasing shipments to distributors and a strong book-to-bill ratio.”
First Quarter Highlights
Sales for the first quarter of 2012 increased 9% sequentially to $160.6 million but declined 4% compared to the first quarter of 2011. The electronics inventory correction was primarily responsible for the year-over-year decline, while all businesses contributed to the sequential improvement.
Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2012 were $0.81. This exceeded the company’s first quarter guidance of $0.68 to $0.78, but was below first quarter 2011 diluted earnings of $0.96 per share due primarily to lower sales and the effects of a weaker euro.
Sales and order trends by business unit were as follows:
Electronics sales declined 12% year over year primarily due to inventory swings in the supply chain. In the first quarter of 2011, distributors were building inventories and in the most recent quarter, distributors were reducing inventories. Electronics sales in the first quarter of 2012 increased 6% sequentially as the effects of the inventory correction subsided as the quarter progressed.
Automotive sales increased 15% sequentially but declined 2% compared to a strong first quarter of 2011. The year-over-year decline was due to one-time aftermarket sales in the first quarter of 2011 and a weaker euro partially offset by increased Cole Hersee sales.
Electrical sales increased 19% year over year due to continued strong growth in relays and custom products. Excluding Selco (acquired in August 2011), electrical sales increased 13% year-over-year.
The electronics book-to-bill ratio for the first quarter of 2012 improved to 1.16 from 0.96 for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Cash provided by operating activities was $7.9 million for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $13.7 million for the first quarter of 2011 primarily due to a $5.0 million contribution to the U.S. pension plan. Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2012 were $3.2 million compared to $4.6 million for the first quarter of 2011.
In April, the company made an additional $10.0 million investment in Shocking Technologies, a start-up company that manufactures specialty polymer materials which are embedded in printed circuit boards to provide electrostatic discharge protection. Littelfuse has now invested $16.0 million in Shocking Technologies for an ownership stake of approximately 18%.
The previous share repurchase authorization expired on April 30, 2012 and was replaced with a one million share repurchase authorization effective through April 2013.
“The first quarter showed improvements in all key areas compared to the fourth quarter,” said Gordon Hunter, Chief Executive Officer. “Sales were higher for all three businesses and margins increased consistent with these higher sales levels. It appears that the electronics inventory correction is now behind us as evidenced by further reductions in distributor inventories, increasing shipments to distributors and a strong book-to-bill ratio.”
Sales for the second quarter of 2012 are expected to be in the range of $168 to $178 million which represents 5% to 11% sequential growth.
Earnings for the second quarter of 2012 are expected to be in the range of $0.94 to $1.04 per diluted share.
Although capital expenditures were only $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2012, they are expected to increase over the next three quarters due to building expansions in support of growth initiatives at the company’s manufacturing sites in Canada, the Philippines and Mexico. Capital expenditures for the 2012 year are expected to be in the range of $30 to $35 million.
The company will pay a cash dividend of $0.18 per common share on June 4, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 21, 2012.
Conference Call Webcast Information
Littelfuse will host a conference call today, Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Central time to discuss the first quarter results. The call will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed through the company’s Web site: www.littelfuse.com. Listeners should go to the Web site at least 15 minutes prior to the call to download and install any necessary audio software. The call will be available for replay through June 30, 2012 and can be accessed through the Web site listed above.
Founded in 1927, Littelfuse, Inc., the worldwide leader in circuit protection, offers the industry’s broadest and deepest portfolio of circuit protection products and solutions. Littelfuse devices protect products in virtually every market that uses electrical energy, from consumer electronics to automobiles to industrial equipment. In addition to its Chicago, Illinois, world headquarters, Littelfuse has more than 30 sales, distribution, manufacturing and engineering facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Technologies offered by Littelfuse include Fuses; Gas Discharge Tubes (GDTs); Positive Temperature Coefficient Devices (PTCs); Protection Relays; PulseGuard® ESD Suppressors; SIDACtor® Devices; TVS Diode Arrays (SPA™ Family of Products); Switching Thyristors; TVS Diodes and Varistors. The company also offers a comprehensive line of highly reliable Electromechanical and Electronic Switch and Control Devices for commercial and specialty vehicles, as well as underground Power Distribution Centers for safe control and distribution of electricity in mining operations.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
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