Kennametal says ‘softening markets’ hurt quarterly sales, earnings | TribLIVE.com
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Joe Napsha

Kennametal Inc. saw sales, net income and earnings per share drop as a result of softening of its markets during the fourth quarter that ended June 30 compared to a year ago, but it still posted increases in sales, net income and earnings for the 2019 fiscal year, the company said Monday.

Kennametal, an industrial toolmaker with corporate offices in Unity, earned 75 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared to 84 cents a share a year ago. The company saw net income drop to $63.1 million on sales of $603.9 million for the quarter that recently ended, compared to a net income of $70.1 million on sales of $646.1 million a year ago.

For the entire fiscal year 2019, Kennametal made progress as earnings per share jumped to $2.94, compared to $2.45 in fiscal 2018. Kennametal’s sales increased to $2.37 billion in fiscal year 2019, up $8 million from $2.367 billion.

Kennametal CEO Christopher Rossi said the improvement in fiscal 2019 showed moderate organic sales growth, reflecting increasing progress on its simplification and modernization initiatives.

Rossi said a key milestone of those initiatives was the recent announcement of the planned closure of its Carbidie plant in Hempfield, along with three other facilities in Germany. That Carbidie closure, which will cost 60 Kennametal workers their jobs through March 2020, “will drive further structural benefits and improve operational efficiency,” Rossi stated.

The softening markets of the fourth quarter fiscal 2019, which has created what Rossi said was a “challenging macro environment,” is expected to continue into the first half of fiscal 2020.

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