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SPX earnings beat expectations as it prepares for spin-off

Chris Kearney, CEO of SPX Corp., listens to the other executives at the Charlotte Chamber’s 2011 Economic Outlook Conference.
Chris Kearney, CEO of SPX Corp., listens to the other executives at the Charlotte Chamber’s 2011 Economic Outlook Conference. jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com

As it readies to spin off its flow business, manufacturer SPX Corp. reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday that were down from last year but topped Wall Street estimates.

The company also said the split will be completed by the end of the third quarter, and that it has identified “additional structural actions” for this year that will improve the remaining two companies.

For the quarter that ended June 30, the company with headquarters in Ballantyne reported income of $38.9 million, down about 24 percent from $51.2 million in the same quarter in 2014, according to a securities filing.

On a per-share basis, earnings were 96 cents, excluding 10 cents of spinoff-related costs. That was above the consensus estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, who called for 75 cents a share.

Second-quarter revenue was $1.08 billion, a 10.1 percent decline from $1.2 billion in 2014 but above the Wall Street estimate of $1.04 billion. The impact of the stronger U.S. dollar, the company said, decreased revenues by 6.5 percent.

SPX said in October it was spinning off its flow products division as a new, independent standalone called SPX Flow, which will be led by current SPX chief executive Chris Kearney. The remaining part of SPX will continue as a separate infrastructure company, with Gene Lowe, president of SPX’s thermal equipment unit, to serve as CEO.

In a call with analysts Wednesday, Kearney said corporate employees will start transitioning into their new roles throughout the third quarter. He added that both companies are in their final stages of appointing directors, and that they expect to disclose board structures in “the coming weeks.”

SPX, which started as an auto-parts maker, has become more diversified via acquisitions, which can present growth challenges. SPX has said the split will allow both companies to focus on their respective growth strategies.

“We have identified additional structural actions for this year that are expected to improve the cost position at both future companies in 2016 and beyond,” Kearney said in the filing.

SPX’s shares closed up 6.05 percent Wednesday at $67.50. The company’s shares have fallen 29 percent since the spin-off was announced in October.

SPX employs about 350 people in Charlotte. After the split, both companies will remain in Ballantyne.

The Associated Press contributed.

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