Rockwell Automation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results
Fourth quarter reported sales up 8.4 percent year over year; organic sales up 5.6 percent Fourth quarter diluted EPS of $1.57; Adjusted EPS of $1.69 Full year diluted EPS of $6.35; Adjusted EPS of $6.76 EPS includes the effects of a business divestiture and restructuring charges in the fourth quarter Fiscal 2018 EPS guidance: Diluted EPS $7.09 – $7.39; Adjusted EPS $7.20 – $7.50. MILWAUKEE-(BUSINESS WIRE)- Rockwell Automation, Inc. today reported fiscal 2017 fourth quarter sales of $1,667. Fiscal 2017 fourth quarter net income was $204.6 million or $1.57 per share, compared to $185.2 million or $1.43 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 fourth quarter Adjusted EPS was $1.69, up 11 percent compared to $1.52 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Pre-tax margin, which includes the gain on the divestiture, was 16.4 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, compared to 15.4 percent in the same period last year. “Fiscal 2017 was a very good year for us. Organic sales grew 6 percent, EPS grew 14 percent, and we had solid free cash flow performance. We had a strong finish to the year in orders, which were up high single digits in the fourth quarter.” Architecture & Software fiscal 2017 fourth quarter sales were $752.0 million, an increase of 8.0 percent compared to $696.4 million in the same period last year. Segment operating earnings were $178.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to $180.0 million in the same period last year. Segment operating margin decreased to 23.7 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 from 25.8 percent a year ago. Control Products & Solutions fiscal 2017 fourth quarter sales were $915.5 million, an increase of 8.7 percent compared to $842.2 million in the same period last year. Segment operating margin decreased to 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 from 14.8 percent a year ago. Fiscal 2017 fourth quarter general corporate net expense was $23.5 million compared to $25.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. On a GAAP basis, the effective tax rate in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was 25.2 percent compared to 21.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Adjusted Effective Tax Rate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was 25.9 percent compared to 22.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. During the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2017, the Company repurchased 210 thousand shares of its common stock at a cost of $34.6 million, and 2.3 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $336.6 million, respectively.
Transformative automation is coming. The impact is up to us
In a recent Pew study, 72 percent of Americans report feeling either worried or very worried about “a future where robots and computers can do many human jobs.” Seventy-six percent believe that economic inequality will grow worse in such a future. As president of an institute with “Technology” in its name and national service in its mission, I take these concerns seriously. Every past technology wave ultimately produced more jobs than it destroyed and delivered important gains, from higher living standards and life expectancy to productivity and economic growth. If we want the advance of technology to benefit everyone we need to take action right away: We must proactively and thoughtfully reinvent the future of work. Simply understanding the problem is a challenge; interestingly, experts still disagree on exactly which groups and regions are losing jobs primarily to automation, how quickly such impact will spread, and what interventions can help. CEOs across many sectors face a painful quandary: They have to lay off people whose jobs have disappeared, while they have job openings they can’t fill because they can’t find people with the right training and skills. Technology itself offers one path to a solution: In fields from robotics and cybersecurity to supply chain management, many universities, including MIT, are pioneering “MicroMasters” and other online credentialing programs to provide top-quality, industry-relevant skills, in a form recognized by leading employers, at a fraction of the price of traditional higher education. For people with industry expertise who need to become proficient in digital or problem-solving skills, including teachers seeking to prepare their students for the future, an answer could be “Continuous uptraining,” a system that would allow every employee to devote significant time – every week, every month, or every year – to acquiring fresh skills. Reinventing the future of work needs to be a whole-society effort – and finding long-term solutions will require ideas and initiative from every quarter. Automation will transform our work, our lives, our society. In this work, those of us leading and benefiting from the technology revolution must help lead the way. Technologies embody the values of those who make them. It is up to those of us advancing new technologies to help make certain that they do not wind up damaging the society we intend them to serve. At MIT, we are deeply engaged in defining the current problem and forecasting challenges ahead. And we are urgently seeking allies who want to join in developing creative, collaborative solutions – and in building a future in which technology works for everyone. L. Rafael Reif is president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.