updated 3/10/2011 9:16:31 AM ET 2011-03-10T14:16:31

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 10, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Raven Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:RAVN) today announced record sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 31, 2011. The company continues to benefit from its innovative products sold into markets such as energy exploration, precision agriculture and military surveillance.

For the full year, sales reached $314.7 million, a 32 percent increase from $237.8 million in fiscal 2010. Net income for the year of $40.5 million, or $2.24 per share, was 42 percent above the prior year's $28.6 million, or $1.58 per diluted share. Return on sales improved to 12.9 percent from 12.0 percent.

For the fourth quarter, sales increased 27 percent to $70.7 million from $55.8 million in the same period a year ago. The company's Engineered Films, Applied Technology and Aerostar operating units accounted for the majority of the sales increase, and recorded double-digit gains in operating income as well. Net income increased 27 percent to $7.4 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, compared with $5.8 million, or $0.32 per diluted share one year earlier.

"We had a strong finish to a very successful year," said Daniel A. Rykhus, president and chief executive officer. "Not only did we enjoy broad-based revenue gains but our profitability improved despite significantly higher investment spending for new capabilities and product development. While a more aggressive stance on driving growth may temper our bottom line over the near term, this is a great opportunity for Raven to take advantage of our strong presence in precision agriculture, engineered films and surveillance. Underpinning our efforts is a strong balance sheet, where cash balances remain healthy despite last year's special dividend payout."

Precision Ag Demand Drives Applied Technology

Annual revenues for the Applied Technology Division increased 16 percent to $100.1 million, compared with $86.2 million for fiscal 2010. Operating income was up 21 percent, to $31.1 million, compared with $25.7 million for the same period last year.

For the fourth quarter, sales were $22.3 million versus $17.3 million, or a 29 percent increase. Operating income in the most recent quarter was up 42 percent, to $5.9 million from $4.1 million.

"We're seeing good demand for our core products, including field computers, guided steering and application controls," Rykhus said. "Growth was also aided by new products and continued international expansion. With U.S. farm income expected to increase again in 2011, we're optimistic that custom applicators and farmers will look to Raven's suite of productivity tools as a cost-effective investment. We introduced several new products in the fourth quarter that improve planting, harvesting, and spraying efficiency. Meanwhile, we are pleased to see growing interest in our SlingshotTM information management platform. Decision-support systems represent the next frontier in precision ag, and Raven is moving quickly to expand our information network and integrated reporting capabilities." 

Higher Revenues and New Capacity in Engineered Films

The Engineered Films Division posted annual sales of $105.8 million, which was up 66 percent from $63.8 million the prior year. Operating income was up 92 percent, at $19.6 million from $10.2 million in fiscal 2010.

In the fourth quarter, revenues increased 45 percent to $24.3 million versus $16.7 million for the fourth quarter last year. Operating earnings, at $3.0 million, increased 27 percent from $2.4 million in the same period a year ago.   

"Revenues were strong again in the energy markets, but we also experienced better demand for our construction, agriculture and geomembrane products," Rykhus stated. "Resin prices were less volatile although we are now experiencing some increases. We upgraded our cast extruder line this past quarter and the new capabilities along with extra capacity should help drive our top line in Films. For example, the new capacity allows us to increase our production of texturized films for geomembrane applications. We will also bring two new blown-film extruders on-line in the coming year. The primary objective is to build sales of our specialty films. To this end, Raven is teaming up with key suppliers, research organizations and channel partners in pursuit of new business."

Record Performance at Aerostar

Aerostar Division sales in fiscal 2011 of $48.8 million increased 79 percent compared with $27.2 million from last year. Its operating income of $9.4 million grew 67 percent compared with $5.6 million during fiscal 2010.

Aerostar's sales in the fourth quarter were up 34 percent to $12.0 million from $8.9 million in the previous year's fourth quarter. A high level of deliveries across key products contributed to the revenue gain. Operating income, at $2.3 million, increased 10 percent from $2.1 million a year earlier.

"Aerostats and military parachutes provided strong sales growth this past quarter," said Rykhus. "Raven has worked effectively with the U.S. government and other contractors. In fact, we see significant follow-on opportunities in persistent surveillance as a cost-effective solution for ensuring the safety of our armed forces. We also look for continued success with our military parachutes, and we are working on new initiatives to grow beyond the core customer base in high altitude research balloons. The entire Aerostar division is building out the elements necessary to pursue opportunities as a prime contractor."

Improved Year for Electronic Systems

In fiscal 2011, Electronic Systems Division sales increased by 4 percent to $65.9 million from $63.5 million in the prior year. Operating income rose by 10 percent to $9.9 million compared with $9.0 million a year ago.

Sales in the fourth quarter were $13.7 million versus $13.8 million a year ago, relatively flat. Operating income fell 14 percent to $1.7 million, from $2.0 million in the previous year's quarter.

"The fourth quarter was in line with our expectations," noted Rykhus. "Profits were lower compared with last year's quarter due to a less favorable product mix. We are still facing some supply chain issues but the overall sales mix has a margin profile that meets our goals and, overall, this unit is generating solid cash flows. Future growth could come from a number of areas, including new customers, proprietary products, and continued in-sourcing of assemblies for Raven's other divisions."  

Healthy Balance Sheet and Cash Flows

At January 31, 2011, cash and investment balances were approximately $38.6 million, down from $43.7 million a year ago due primarily to a special dividend of $1.25 per share, or $22.5 million, paid to shareholders in September 2010. Full year operating cash flows, down as a result of higher working capital requirements, were $42.1 million versus $47.6 million last year. Accounts receivable increased to $40.0 million compared with $34.3 million at January 31, 2010. Inventories were $43.7 million, up from $34.5 million one year earlier. Accounts receivable days continue to trend favorably while inventory turns improved along with the level of sales and production activity.

Raven to Build on Record Year with Continued Investment

Rykhus concluded, "This past year was another one for the record books. What makes this even more significant is the fact that we accomplished growth in sales and profits during an unprecedented period of reinvestment across the company. We believe these investments will help us sustain our long-term growth track and we could see double-digit profit growth even in this coming year. We're really just beginning to test the potential of what we can accomplish with our corporate culture of innovation and strong competitive drive.   

"While the economic environment remains uncertain, our best defense is to stay focused on our market niches and run profitable businesses. Due to our strong growth opportunities, as well as scaling necessities, we are using cash to invest in organic growth more aggressively than in the recent past. Along with the continued hiring of new people we estimate our capital spending this current fiscal year will more than double last year's $14 million. We also continue to look for complementary acquisitions. At the same time, our cash management strategy is geared to support continued growth in quarterly dividends."

About Raven Industries, Inc.

With strengths in engineering and technological innovation, Raven provides custom solutions including precision agriculture applications, high performance specialty films, aerostats for communications and surveillance, and electronic manufacturing services.

Conference Call Information

Raven has scheduled a conference call today at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss its year end and fourth quarter performance, and provide an outlook for the current year. Interested investors are invited to listen to the call by visiting the Investor Relations section of the company's Web site at www.ravenind.com several minutes before the call to register on the Events and Presentations page. In addition, a taped rebroadcast will be available beginning one hour after the call ends, and will continue through March 17, 2011. To access the rebroadcast, dial 877-870-5176 and enter this passcode: 6188866. A replay of the call will also be available at www.ravenind.com for 90 days.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding the expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Without limiting the foregoing, the words "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The company intends that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance these assumptions are correct or that these expectations will be achieved. Assumptions involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to weather conditions and commodity prices, which could affect sales and profitability in some of the company's primary markets, such as agriculture, construction and oil and gas drilling; or changes in competition, raw material availability, technology or relationships with the company's largest customers—any of which could adversely affect any of the company's product lines—as well as other risks described in the company's 10-K under Item 1A. This list is not exhaustive, and the company does not have an obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date these statements are made.

FINANCIAL TABLES FOLLOW…

RAVEN INDUSTRIES, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(In thousands, except earnings per share) (Unaudited)
             
             
  Three Months Ended January 31 Twelve Months Ended January 31
 

2011


2010
Fav (Unfav)

Change


2011


2010
Fav (Unfav)

Change
Net sales  $ 70,681  $ 55,816 27 %  $ 314,708  $ 237,782 32 %
Cost of sales  51,699  40,422    223,279  169,930  
Gross profit  18,982  15,394 23 %  91,429  67,852 35 %
             
Research and development expenses  1,940  1,444    7,604  5,843  
Selling, general and administrative expenses  6,833  5,268    24,073  18,789  
Gain on disposition of assets  --  --    (451)  --  
Operating income  10,209  8,682 18 %  60,203  43,220 39 %
             
Other expense (income), net  (104)  1    (79)  (102)  
Income before income taxes  10,313  8,681 19 %  60,282  43,322 39 %
             
Income taxes  2,907  2,835    19,745  14,748  
             
Net income  $ 7,406  $ 5,846 27 %  $ 40,537  $ 28,574 42 %
             
Net income per common share:            
 -basic  $ 0.41  $ 0.32 28 %  $ 2.24  $ 1.58 42 %
 -diluted  $ 0.41  $ 0.32 28 %  $ 2.24  $ 1.58 42 %
             
Weighted average common

shares outstanding:
           
 -basic 18,087 18,050   18,067 18,040  
 -diluted 18,175 18,051   18,110 18,043  
             
             
RAVEN INDUSTRIES, INC.
SALES AND OPERATING INCOME BY SEGMENT
(In thousands) (Unaudited)
             
  Three Months Ended January 31 Twelve Months Ended January 31
 

2011


2010
Fav (Unfav)

Change


2011


2010
Fav (Unfav)

Change
Net sales:            
Applied Technology  $ 22,286  $ 17,258 29 %  $ 100,090  $ 86,217 16 %
Engineered Films  24,313  16,734 45 %  105,838  63,783 66 %
Aerostar 11,954 8,918 34 % 48,787 27,244 79 %
Electronic Systems  13,743  13,788 0 %  65,852  63,525 4 %
Intersegment eliminations (1,615) (882)   (5,859) (2,987)  
Total company  $ 70,681  $ 55,816 27 %  $ 314,708  $ 237,782 32 %
             
Operating income:            
Applied Technology  $ 5,878  $ 4,139 42 %  $ 31,135  $ 25,722 21 %
Engineered Films  3,044  2,403 27 %  19,622(1)  10,232 92 %
Aerostar  2,292  2,082 10 %  9,407  5,634 67 %
Electronic Systems  1,683  1,955 (14)%  9,917  8,979 10 %
Intersegment eliminations  (47)  47    (94)  60  
Total segment income  12,850  10,626    69,987  50,627  
Corporate expenses (2,641) (1,944) (36)% (9,784) (7,407) (32)%
Total company  $ 10,209  $ 8,682 18 %  $ 60,203  $ 43,220 39 %
             
(1) Includes a $451,000 pre-tax gain on disposition of assets.
 
RAVEN INDUSTRIES, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands) (Unaudited)
     
     
  January 31

2011
January 31

2010
ASSETS    
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments  $ 38,563  $ 43,684
Accounts receivable, net  39,967 34,327
Inventories  43,679 34,475
Other current assets  5,972 5,261
Total current assets  128,181  117,747
     
Property, plant and equipment, net  41,522 33,029
Other assets, net  18,057 19,533
   $ 187,760  $ 170,309
     
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY    
Accounts payable  $ 16,715  $ 12,398
Accrued and other liabilities  17,620  13,562
Total current liabilities  34,335  25,960
     
Other liabilities  12,211  11,098
Shareholders' equity  141,214  133,251
   $ 187,760  $ 170,309
     
     
RAVEN INDUSTRIES, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS
(In thousands) (Unaudited)
     
  Twelve Months Ended January 31  
  2011 2010
Cash flows from operating activities:    
Net income  $ 40,537  $ 28,574
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash

provided by operating activities:
   
Depreciation and amortization  7,631  7,108
Other operating activities, net  (6,083)  11,961
Net cash provided by operating activities  42,085  47,643
     
Cash flows from investing activities:    
Capital expenditures  (13,972)  (3,302)
Investment in and acquisition of businesses  (399)  (7,000)
Other investing activities, net  2,953  (3,094)
Net cash used in investing activities  (11,418)  (13,396)
     
Cash flows from financing activities:    
Dividends paid  (34,095)  (9,911)
Other financing activities, net  261  44
Net cash used in financing activities  (33,834)  (9,867)
     
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash  46  37
     
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents  (3,121)  24,417
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period  40,684  16,267
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period  37,563  40,684
Short-term investments  1,000  3,000
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments  $ 38,563  $ 43,684
CONTACT: AT THE COMPANY:
         Tom Iacarella
         Vice President & CFO
         (605) 336-2750
         
         AT FINANCIAL RELATIONS BOARD:
         Leslie Loyet
         Analyst/Media Inquiries
         (312) 640-6672

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