Sales Slowdown in Filtration-Products Maker's Life-Sciences and Mobile-Solutions Units

By Will Feuer

Donaldson, the filtration-products maker, experienced a decline in its fiscal fourth-quarter sales, marking its first quarterly sales slowdown in years. The company saw softer demand in its life-sciences and mobile-solutions units.

For the quarter ended July 31, Donaldson reported a profit of $91.9 million, or 75 cents a share. This was a decrease from the previous year's profit of $101.1 million, or 81 cents a share.

Adjusted earnings, excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, were 78 cents a share, in line with analysts' estimates, according to FactSet.

Sales for the quarter dropped by 1.2% to $879.5 million. Sluggish sales volume in the mobile-solutions and life-sciences units outweighed price increases. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had projected sales of $896.0 million.

The mobile-solutions segment, which caters to original equipment manufacturers in the construction, mining, transportation, and other industries, experienced a 4.8% decrease in sales.

On the other hand, industrial sales increased by 9.9%, driven by power-generation projects and strong demand for dust-collection equipment. Sales in the life-sciences division, however, declined by 11.9% due to ongoing weakness in demand for disk-drive products.

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