Taylor Devices' profits in the second quarter of its fiscal year fell 75 percent from a year ago, despite a 29.5 percent increase in revenues.
The North Tonawanda-based shock absorber manufacturer recorded net income of $122,975, or 4 cents per share, compared with $501,891, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier, for the three-month period ending Nov. 30.
Taylor Devices' gross profit as a percentage of net revenues was 23 percent, compared with 41 percent a year earlier, said Douglas P. Taylor, the company's president. Taylor attributed the fluctuation to two large export projects in the prior year that had higher-than-average margins and three large projects in the previous year with aerospace/defense customers that had higher margins than average projects for construction customers.
"Pundits continue to declare that our recession ended months ago; however, the U.S. construction markets remain very constricted," Taylor said.
But Taylor said the company's firm order backlog was $13 million, up 14 percent from the same time a year ago.
Prospects for the company's aerospace business depend in part on defense spending by the U.S. government, Taylor said, noting many of those programs have been held up over uncertainty about appropriations.
Also, NASA has been "in a turmoil," with the space shuttle program winding down and delayed funding or funding cuts for the successor Aries/Orion program, Taylor said. "In December we did, however, see an increase in defense-related orders, which should be beneficial to the company in 2011," he said.
Taylor Devices employs about 100 people in North Tonawanda and Kenmore, and is adding some jobs in its machining facilities in North Tonawanda, Taylor said.
The company makes giant shock absorbers used in building construction in earthquake zones, along with other motion-control devices.