Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) today reported fiscal 2014 fourth quarter sales of $1,781.8 million, up 3.9 percent from $1,715.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Organic sales growth was 4.4 percent, and currency translation reduced sales by 0.7 percent. Fiscal 2014 fourth quarter sales were up 8.0 percent compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2014, despite nearly a full point of currency headwind.
Fiscal 2014 fourth quarter Adjusted EPS was $1.86, up 15 percent compared to Adjusted EPS of $1.62 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Total segment operating earnings were $395.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, up 11 percent compared to $357.8 million in the same period last year. Total segment operating margin increased to 22.2 percent from 20.9 percent a year ago, primarily due to higher sales, partially offset by increased spending.
On a GAAP basis, fiscal 2014 fourth quarter net income was $248.7 million or $1.79 per share, compared to $215.3 million or $1.53 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Pre-tax margin increased to 19.0 percent from 16.3 percent in the same period last year.
Commenting on the results, Keith D. Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Results in the quarter were about as we expected with strong earnings on solid sales growth. Adjusted EPS grew an impressive 15 percent on 4.4 percent organic sales growth. "For the full year we again achieved record sales and earnings per share. The U.S. led our sales performance with 7 percent organic growth, while segment operating margin increased almost a point for the second year in a row."
Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch said, "Despite heightened uncertainty in some regions, the U.S. economy remains strong, and forecasts call for continued moderate global economic growth. Based on these factors, along with underlying demand trends, we are projecting fiscal 2015 organic sales growth of 2.5 percent to 6.5 percent and initiating fiscal 2015 Adjusted EPS guidance of $6.55 - $6.95."
"The key drivers of automation growth remain intact, and we believe we have the right strategy to capitalize on these opportunities. We will continue to invest in innovative technology and domain expertise to expand the value we provide to our customers, while delivering superior returns to our shareowners."