At first glance, the fiscal first quarter was one in which Briggs & Stratton
However, much like my lawn, a closer look reveals some bare spots and a plethora of weeds taking the place of grass. The increase in net sales was the result of the inclusion of sales from the acquired Murray business. The net income increase was possible because last year's results included an expense of $10 million. Furthermore, the current results include a gain of $6.4 million from the sale of manufacturing property. Without the gain from this property sale, the company would have only posted net income of $0.5 million for the quarter.
Engine sales were sparked by increased shipments to Europe for lawn equipment and generator manufacturers for portable generators. These factors helped push engine sales 12% higher. Operating income for the engine segment grew by $13.4 million to $8.8 million after posting a loss of $4.6 million last year.
Its power products business also looks to be running at full throttle at first check. This segment generated a 35% increase in sales to $300.6 million. However, those sales were powered by the Murray acquisition. Increased generator sales, prompted by a devastating hurricane season, were offset by lower pressure washer and premium lawn and garden sales.
The company is sticking with its earlier guidance of earning $0.44 per diluted share for the second quarter, but it continues to battle higher costs and uncertainty from retailers purchasing its products. Briggs & Stratton is a leader in its market and has great branding, but until it can demonstrate sustained growth, I'll continue to put more faith in its products than its stock.
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Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own shares of Briggs & Stratton.