Gibraltar’s profits jump 42% as solar acquisition boosts sales - The Buffalo News

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Gibraltar’s profits jump 42% as solar acquisition boosts sales

Gibraltar Industries’ third-quarter profits jumped by 42 percent, easily topping analyst forecasts, buoyed by its acquisition this summer of a solar energy racking system manufacturer and cost-cutting efforts at its existing businesses.

The Hamburg-based construction products manufacturer also said it expects its fourth-quarter sales and profits to “substantially increase,” and the company raised its sales and earnings forecast for all of 2015.

“We’re very pleased with our progress transforming Gibraltar,” said Frank Heard, the company’s CEO, during a conference call Wednesday.

Gibraltar said it earned $13.6 million, or 43 cents per share, during the third quarter, up from $9.6 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding costs related to its acquisition of solar racking systems manufacturer RBI Solar and other one-time items, the company’s earnings rose by 65 percent to $15.7 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with $9.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago. That was 14 cents more than the 36 cents per share that analysts expected the company to earn.

Gibraltar’s sales rose by 30 percent to $305 million from $234 million, with all of the increase coming from the RBI Solar acquisition. Revenues from Gibraltar’s existing businesses fell by 5 percent, as softness in its industrial and infrastructure products markets offset rising demand for its mail boxes and roofing products. The sales were stronger than the $287 million that analysts had forecast.

While sales were down at Gibraltar’s existing businesses, profits from those operations increased because of the company’s efforts to reduce overhead costs, consolidate facilities and improve efficiency, Heard said. The RBI acquisition accounted for 80 percent of the increase in earnings.

The company said it expects its profits, excluding one-time items, to range between 90 cents and 95 cents per share for all of 2015, roughly double its adjusted earnings of 47 cents per share last year and stronger than the 81 cents per share that analysts were expecting.

Gibraltar said its sales for the year will be between $990 million and $1 billion, up about 15 percent from $862 million last year and stronger than the $985 million that analysts were expecting. RBI is expected to generate about $160 million in sales for Gibraltar this year and contribute about 25 cents per share toward its 2015 adjusted earnings.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

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