The Manitowoc Company, Inc. reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2000. Net sales for 2000 grew 5.9 percent to $873.3 million from $824.3 million in 1999. Net earnings for 2000 were $60.3 million compared with $66.8 million in 1999. Manitowoc also generated $34.4 million of EVA during 2000, its second highest level of economic value, eclipsed only by the $43.2 million level attained in 1999.
For the fourth quarter of 2000, net sales increased more than 13 percent to $209.3 million from $184.8 million for the same period in 1999. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $10.5 million compared with $14 million for the fourth quarter of 1999. The weighted average shares outstanding used to calculate the 12-month and quarterly diluted earnings per share for 2000 were 25.1 million and 24.6 million, respectively. The weighted average shares outstanding used to calculate the 12-month and quarterly diluted earnings per share for 1999 were 26.2 million.
record-breaking results in the first and second quarters of 2000 -- our 18th and 19th consecutive quarters of record earnings growth -- as well as record net sales for the sixth consecutive year," said Terry D. Growcock
, president and chief executive officer. "In addition, net earnings for the full-year were the second best in our 99-year history. However, the general economic and industry conditions that occurred during the second half of 2000 prevented us from doing better. Despite rising interest rates and a tightening economy, we continued to invest in our businesses to further strengthen our competitive positions. This included nearly $100 million of strategic acquisitions, $13.4 million of capital expenditures, $2.6 million of manufacturing process improvements and growth initiatives, plus $6.7 million of research and development funding that led to the launch of several new products. We also repurchased 1.9 million shares of our common stock during the course of the year."
Manitowoc's Marine Group sales grew 30.3 percent to $71.9 million in 2000 from $55.2 million last year. Operating earnings for 2000 were $8.9 million, up 22 percent from the $7.3 million reported for 1999. "In November, we acquired Marinette Marine, which unquestionably makes Manitowoc the largest, most comprehensive, and most efficient shipbuilding and repair company on the U.S. Great Lakes," explained Growcock.
“Although Marinette contributed to the segment's fourth-quarter results, Marine segment sales and earnings for 2000 also benefited from a full-year of work on the hopper dredge Liberty Island, the completion and delivery of a cutterhead dredge, as well as increased levels of casualty repair work," stated Growcock.
Total debt rose to $218.9 million at year-end, up from $112 million last year. This increase was driven by acquisition activity, which totaled $99 million, as well as treasury stock purchases of nearly $50 million. As a result, the company's debt-to-capital ratio was 48.4% versus 32.5% last year. Given the outlook for continued strong cash flow, Manitowoc's debt-to-capital could drop to its lowest level since 1995 barring additional acquisitions or stock buyback activity during 2001.
"With the recent interest rate cuts and the economic leadership of our nation's new administration, our outlook for 2001 is one of guarded optimism," stated Growcock. "In marine, our recent acquisition of Marinette Marine will more than double this segment's sales in 2001. We expect our ship-construction business to be brisk in 2001, although continued low water levels on the Great Lakes, a slowdown in America's steel industry, and an uncertain economy are likely to affect the volume of ship repairs we perform in 2001.