Worthington Industries Ups Dividend

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Worthington Industries (WOR) raised its dividend despite posting a year-on-year decline in its fourth-quarter revenue as a challenging steel pricing environment and lower volume in pressure cylinders weighed.

The Columbus, Ohio-headquartered metals manufacturing company reported revenue of $938.8 million in the three months ended May 31, down from $1.02 billion in the corresponding quarter of the prior year, according to results published after markets closed on Wednesday. This was also below the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ for $986.5 million.

The decrease was attributed primarily to lower direct shipments in steel processing and lower overall volume in pressure cylinders, partially offset by higher average selling prices, the company said. Net sales from steel processing fell by 10% to $584.4 million from a year earlier. Pressure cylinders’ net sales totaled $322.3 million, down 5% year-on-year.

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Diluted earnings per share rose to $0.66 during the quarter, up from $0.50 a year earlier. The company said that its net earnings were negatively impacted by pre-tax impairment and restructuring charges of $8.5 million, including $4.0 million of which was recorded in equity income. It said that the after-tax impact of these items reduced earnings per diluted share by $0.11.

The company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share, an increase of $0.01 per share from the corresponding quarter of the prior year.

“We finished our 2019 fiscal year with solid results in the fourth quarter despite a challenging steel pricing environment,” John McConnell, Worthington chief executive, said. He added that margins across all of the group’s businesses improved from the third quarter and that it had “worked hard to navigate the impacts of tariffs” on its businesses.

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