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Nexxus Lighting awarded two LED patents

BY Brae Canlen

Nexxus Lighting Inc. has obtained two U.S. patents on Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, the company has announced.

US Patent Number 7,974,099 represents the company’s Selective Heat Sink (SHS) process around which it has designed its Array LED replacement lamps and bulbs.

US Patent Number 7,960,921 allows the LED light source to sense ambient thermal changes and adjust current levels and light output to maintain proper thermal performance of the product.

With the issuance of these new patents, Nexxus Lighting said it now holds 37 issued U.S. and foreign patents and 30 patent applications pending related to its Array Lighting and Lumificient product offering.

In addition, the company announced the registration of its Array trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Array brand, which is sold to both commercial and residential customers, is available at more than 1,100 Lowe’s stores across the United States.

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Tractor Supply reports strong Q2

BY HBSDealer Staff

Tractor Supply continues to operate in a fertile market segment that enabled the nation’s largest farm and ranch store chain to harvest record profits during the second quarter. 

The Brentwood, Tenn.-based operator of 1,043 stores released results for the quarterly period ended June 25 after the market closed Wednesday and raised its full-year profit forecast. Sales, which increased 10.6% to nearly $1.2 billion, were driven by a 4.6% same-store sales increase and the addition of 16 new stores. Profits rose 18% to $91.2 million, and earnings per share advanced 18.3% to $1.23, four cents better than analysts expected. 

“Our ability to achieve record results, despite unfavorable weather patterns, further demonstrates that the structural changes we made to the business over the past few years have been successful,” said Jim Wright, Tractor Supply’s chairman and CEO. “Through excellent seasonal preparedness and execution, we anticipated our customers’ needs, maintained appropriate in-stock positions, and our customers responded positively to our efforts. As a result, we experienced strong sales and earnings growth, positive ticket and traffic, margin expansion and SG&A leverage.” 

Based on its second-quarter showing, the company raised its full-year sales and earnings expectations. Net sales are now expected to fall within a range of $4.1 billion to $4.14 billion, compared with earlier expectations in a range of $4.04 billion to $4.11 billion. Same-store sales for the year are now expected to increase 5% to 6% compared with the prior expectation of an increase of 3.5% to 5%. And full-year earnings per share are now anticipated to range between $2.75 to $2.82 compared with prior guidance of $2.62 to $2.70. 

“As we look to the remainder of the year, we are optimistic about the momentum we have generated in our business,” Wright said. “To continue growing, we remain focused on executing the merchandise, marketing and operational plans that will enable Tractor Supply to meet our customers’ needs, expand operating margins and improve our processes continuously.  Additionally, we will continue to invest in our stores and infrastructure while delivering value to our shareholders.”

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Whirlpool reports Q2 loss

BY HBSDealer Staff

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool has announced a second-quarter net loss of $161 million, compared with net earnings of $205 million in the same period last year. 

Second-quarter results include the settlement of a Brazilian collection dispute for about $3.78 per share and increased accruals related to developments in the Embraco antitrust matters of $1.08 per share.

Sales in the second quarter of 2011 totaled $4.7 billion, up 4% from $4.5 billion in the second quarter of 2010. 

"While the challenging economic environment has kept us from achieving our targeted margins, we delivered a solid quarter," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO. "Our continued cost and productivity initiatives coupled with strong product innovation have helped mitigate a volatile demand environment and record levels of material cost inflation. Additionally, our recently announced price increases in key countries around the world help position us for stronger second half performance."

In the company’s North American division, second-quarter sales totaled $2.4 billion, down 7% from the prior year. North America unit shipments decreased about 5%, while U.S. industry unit shipments of major appliances decreased about 10%.

Operating profit for the North America region totaled $76 million, down 62% from $200 million in the previous year.

Based on the current economic outlook, Whirlpool expects full-year 2011 U.S. industry unit shipments to decrease between 1% and 2%.

"We expect global economic volatility to continue in the near term," Fettig said. "We are rapidly adjusting to a much more challenging global economic environment.  Our primary focus is to expand operating margins, which we expect to do throughout the second half of the year."

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