ARMSTRONG, Iowa — Art's Way Manufacturing Co., (NASDAQ: ARTW), a diversified, international manufacturer and distributor of equipment serving agricultural, research and steel cutting needs, announces its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Sales: Consolidated corporate sales of continuing operations for the 3 month period ended Feb. 28, 2017 were $4,421,000 compared to $5,713,000 during the same period in 2016, a decrease of $1,292,000, or 22.6%. The quarterly decrease in revenue was primarily due to a continuation of the decreased demand for agricultural products that the industry has been experiencing over the last year. Quarterly revenue increased by 16.3% at metals, while manufacturing and scientific revenues were down 19.8% and 58.9%, respectively. Consolidated gross margin for the 3 month period ended Feb. 28, 2017 was 25.2%, compared to 28.5% for the same period in fiscal 2016. 

Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations: Consolidated net (loss) from continuing operations was $(254,000) for the 3 month period ended Feb. 28, 2017, compared to net income from continuing operations of $134,000 for the same period in 2016. The increased loss was primarily due to the decreased sales in Art’s Way’s manufacturing and scientific segments.

Earnings (Loss) per Share from Continuing Operations: Loss per basic and diluted share from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 was ($0.06), compared to earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.03 for the same period in fiscal 2016. 

Chairman of the Art's Way Board of Directors, Marc H. McConnell reports, “While the results of our fiscal first quarter demonstrate the persistence of the historic headwinds our business has faced in the past 2 years, we are pleased to report that business appears to be on the upswing at Art's Way. During the first quarter we experienced low levels of revenue due to slow incoming orders during the fourth quarter of 2016. We are pleased to have seen an increase of 27% in backlog compared to the prior year due to new product launches and other initiatives we have pursued over the past year. As such, we incurred additional engineering expenses, labor expenses and other costs associated with growth in the first quarter while the corresponding revenue will come in the second and third quarters when new products are available to ship.  

“At this time, we are hiring in all reporting segments and while we have not yet felt the positive financial impact, we have managed to fundamentally improve our business amid weakness in the markets we serve by focusing intently on product quality, customer service and new product development. We remain committed to improving our balance sheet by reducing inventory, borrowings, and parting with assets not associated with our future growth. We are pleased with the progress we are making on these fronts, and are optimistic for results in the upcoming quarters.”