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Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, reported net sales for its 2005 fiscal first quarter increased 14% to $413.1 million from $361.1 million in the comparable period a year ago. Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004 increased 170% to $13.0 million compared to $4.8 million last year.
"The rebound of the industrial economy created strong demand for our products and services as industrial plants ran at an increasing rate of utilization," said Applied Chairman & Chief Executive Officer David L. Pugh. "This strong demand coupled with our improved business strategies and more efficient operations helped us drive our operating margin to 5.2%, more than 100% higher than last year's first quarter.
"The fundamentals in our business remain very healthy. While somewhat higher, our inventories are consistent with expected future customer demand. Receivables are well-controlled. Long-term debt remains low.
"At this point, we expect that fiscal 2005 second quarter sales will rise between 8 and 12% compared to the same quarter last year. The second quarter of fiscal 2005 contains three fewer sales days than the first quarter just ended. For fiscal 2005 as a whole, we reiterate our previous guidance of earnings in a range of $2.15 to $2.35 per share on sales of between $1.63 billion and $1.66 billion."
During the first quarter of 2005, the company purchased 203,000 shares of its common stock for $6.0 million. At Sept. 30, 2004, the company had remaining authorization to repurchase approximately 667,000 additional shares. For its fiscal year ended Jun. 30, 2004, the company posted sales of $1.52 billion.