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Regal-Beloit Corporation,Beloit, WI, reported first quarter net sales of the company increased 107.1% to $337.8 million from $163.1 million in the first quarter of 2004. Excluding the impact of the Commercial AC Motors and HVAC Motors and Capacitors acquisitions of 2004, sales were $182.8 million, an increase of 12.1%. There was continued strong demand throughout the company's markets. Sales in the Electrical segment, excluding the impact of the acquisitions, increased 15.5%. Sales in the Mechanical segment increased 3.6%.
Net income in the first quarter of 2005 was $12.3 million, a 78% increase from $6.9 million reported in the first quarter of 2004. Earnings per share were $.41 for the first quarter as compared to $.27 in the comparable period of 2004. This was an increase of 52% after the impact of 5.3 million additional shares outstanding. The added shares were a result of the shares issued to General Electric as part of the consideration paid for the acquisition of the HVAC Motors and Capacitors business and the dilutive effect of the company's April 2004 convertible senior subordinated debt offering.
Income from operations increased 108.9% to $25.9 million from $12.4 million reported for the first quarter of 2004. Income from operations as a percent of net sales for the first quarter of 2005 was 7.7%, as compared to the 7.6% reported in the first quarter last year. The company's operations continued to be impacted by raw material inflation in the first quarter of 2005, which offset price increases and productivity improvements.
The company's long-term debt increased to $563.6 million at the end of the first quarter of 2005 from $547.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2004. The increase was primarily due to an increase in working capital requirements to support the strong sales volume and higher levels of capital spending.