LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. -Primarily as a result of sales at recently acquired companies, air conditioner manufacturer Fedders Corp. enjoyed an 18.4 percent jump in net sales for its fiscal second quarter. The company posted sales of $83.3 million for the three-month period, compared with $70.4 million in the year-ago second quarter.
Citing a cool summer in 2000, which lowered demand for room air conditioners, Fedders said it still achieved nearly break-even results for the second quarter. The company registered a net loss of $200,000 for the three months ended Feb. 28, compared with a gain of $1.3 million in the same period a year ago.
Gross profit margin dropped 700 basis points to 24.5 percent in the second quarter, down from 31.5 percent in the year-ago three months. The company pinned the blame for this dip mainly on unabsorbed overhead due to the idling of a primary room air conditioner production facility in North America for the entire month of December 2000.
Operating income for the second quarter was $5.1 million, down from the $7.8 million reported a year ago.
Sales for the six months reached $123.3 million, a 7 percent hike over the $115.1 million reported the previous year. Here, the acquired companies more than offset the drop in room air conditioner sales. Net loss for the six months was $7.7 million, compared with a loss of $849,000 in the year-ago six months.
For the trailing 12 months, ended in February, Fedders reported net sales of $418 million, about an 8 percent jump over the $386.4 million recorded in the year-ago period. Net income, however, hit $13.5 million in this time frame, down from the $61.8 million recorded in the previous fiscal year.
During the second quarter of fiscal 2001, Fedders repurchased about 529,000 shares of common and Class A Stock for about $2.5 million, reducing total shares outstanding to about 31.8 million.