American Solar Direct chips in for vets
American Solar Direct, a Los Angeles-based solar provider in California, is installing free solar energy systems in homes built by Homes for Our Troops in a new partnership with the organization.
“From the moment our employees first heard about the chance to give back to one of our most critically injured veterans, we quickly realized this was a program that must be expanded to others in the same situation,” said Brennan Mulcahy, ASD’s CEO. “These veterans paid dearly to defend the United States of America. We are proud to embark upon this partnership with Homes for Our Troops to supply free solar systems to our wounded warriors.”
The company credits the move to an employee-inspired donation it made last summer to install a solar energy system at a veteran’s home in El Cajon, which was built by HFOT.
“Homes for Our Troops is fortunate to have the support of patriotic businesses like American Solar Direct to help us in our mission of building specially adapted homes for our nation’s Veterans,” says Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale, president/CEO of Homes for Our Troops. “Having partnerships like this is crucial in allowing us to return the gift of freedom and independence that these Heroes fought so bravely to protect.”
Sears Holdings Q3: not as bad as expected
Sears Holdings reported a third-quarter loss, though one not as wide as economists expected.
As the retailer has been posting months of consecutive losses and sales declines, CEO Edward Lampert stressed the steps it was taking to minimize its expenses and generate more revenue.
"We remain intently focused on delivering an unparalleled integrated retail experience for our customers through Shop Your Way and above all, returning Sears Holdings to profitability," said Lampert. "During the quarter, we unveiled or expanded several Integrated Retail customer initiatives, which helped drive online and multi-channel sales. Our members are responding to our transformation, and we are encouraged by the year-over-year domestic adjusted EBITDA trends, which mark a positive departure from the prior six quarters. At the same time, we continue to enhance the company’s capital structure and liquidity to support our transformation into an integrated membership-focused company."
Revenues for the third quarter ended Nov. 1 decreased to $7.2 billion, compared to $8.3 billion in the same period last year. Sears pointed to growth in its online and multi-channel sales of approximately 9%.
Meanwhile, Sears Holdings posted a net loss of $548 million; during the same period last year, its loss was $534 million.
The domestic adjusted EBITDA figures Lampert mentioned came in at a loss of $296 million for the quarter, an improvement over last year’s loss of $310 million.
Through various cost-cutting actions such as shutting stores (235 year-to-date), selling leases and spinning of various divisions, the company has generated $2.2 billion in liquidity in fiscal 2014 so far, according to Sears Holdings CFO Rob Schriesheim.
Additionally, the company said it was no longer consolidating the results of Sears Canada as of Oct. 16, and that its third-quarter report does not take Sears Canada into account.
Sears Holdings continues to maintain that it has the ability to meet its financial obligations. The retailersaid it had about $1.5 billion available in its credit facility as of Dec. 3, 2014.
Toro Company rides double digit growth
In its 100th anniversary year, a year of abundant snowfall and a key acquisition, Bloomington, Minnesota-based The Toro Company saw net sales increase 6.4% to $2.173 billion.
Net earnings for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31 were $173.9 million, up from $154.8 million in fiscal 2013.
"Fiscal 2014 was a significant year for The Toro Company for many reasons,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and CEO. “We delivered record sales, operating earnings and earnings per share, which enabled us to successfully achieve our Destination 2014 revenue and profitability targets. We celebrated our centennial and officially launched the company’s second century. We entered into and subsequently closed the largest acquisition in our history with the addition of the BOSS professional snow and ice management business. Finally, we returned almost $150 million to our shareholders through the payment of $45 million in dividends and the repurchase of more than 1.6 million shares of our common stock."
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of $10.9 million, on a net sales increase of 8.3 percent to $414.1 million. In the comparable fiscal 2013 period, the company posted net earnings of $5 million on net sales of $382.4 million.
On the residential side of Toro’s business, the company reported double-digit revenue growth, thanks to beneficial snow conditions in key markets. Residential segment net sales for fiscal 2014 were $672.4 million, up 13.1% from last year.
The residential business also saw gains from solid retail demand for our residential zero turn mowers, as homeowners continue to transition to these more efficient cutting platforms," Hoffman said.