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Industry Dashboard for April 29, 2013

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sherwin-Williams paces the field on the Home Channel Stock Roundup. Also, the national average for a gallon of regular gas stands at $3.51, down from last month and last year.

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Product prevents wet basements

BY Ken Clark

Wayne Water Systems’ new Sump Minder promises to take the worry out of sump pump operation by calling you before there’s a problem.  It is designed to gauge urgency and contact the homeowner so they can take action before a flood occurs.

“A sump pump is a mechanical device, and like any mechanical device, it can fail because it has components that will wear out over time,” said Tony Renfro VP sales and marketing for Wayne Water Systems. “Also, power outages are more frequent because of population growth that puts stress on the power grid, and extreme weather conditions.”

Sump Minder’s technology combines self-testing and continuous battery checks with an auto-dial feature connected to a phone line. The unit continually checks for AC Power and 12 volt DC battery status. If the power goes out or the DC battery needs replacing, the system will dial the phone numbers you program in with a voice alert. In addition, every 14 days the unit runs a self-test sequence, checking the float switch status and cycling the DC backup pump. If the system is not functioning properly, the homeowner gets a phone call to check the unit.

The system connects to a standard land line, or a VOIP telephone connection. Since a standard land line (POTS) continues to work during a power outage, this is the most reliable telephone connection. If you use DSL, or cable service for telephone service (VOIP), the company recommends that the modem and router have a battery backup. If you don’t have land line service, check with your local phone company for what is called a service line, which is available for third-party monitoring systems or a device like this, and is typically a fraction of the cost of standard phone service.

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Armstrong World Sales sees sales decline

BY Ken Clark

Floors and ceilings manufacturer Armstrong World Industries reported net sales of $622.3 million in the first quarter ended March 31, down 2.1% from $636.0 million in the same quarter last year.

The Lancaster, Pa.-based company reported net earnings of $3.0 million, down from $18.2 million in last year’s first quarter.

"We delivered first-quarter results in line with the expectations we outlined earlier this year, despite a continued choppy commercial market environment," said Matt Espe, pPresident and CEO. "We also achieved a significant milestone toward our growth initiatives in China as we commenced operations at our homogenous flooring and ceilings plants. Collectively, I’m proud that construction of these plants was completed with a perfect employee safety record and the plants were brought online as scheduled and on budget." 

Sales were negatively impacted by approximately $9 million due to the sale of the Patriot wood flooring distribution business, which occurred in the third quarter of 2012. The sales decline was also driven by lower commercial volumes, which more than offset gains in new residential construction that resulted in strong volume growth in the Wood Flooring business. Price and mix were both positive, but only partially offset the impact of lower volumes. 

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