Operating income was US$22.1 million compared to US$55.8 million. Net sales were $549.8 million, up from US$498.6 million.

“After a difficult start to the quarter, performance in September improved,” said William A Wulfsohn, Carpenter’s president and CEO. “The Latrobe press is now back on line and we saw our specialty alloys operations (SAO) segment mix improve in September. That said, we need to drive further improvements and successfully work through recent challenges at our Reading mill.

“Looking forward, we expect SAO to continue year-over-year volume growth as we expand the number of customer approvals for Athens production. We also anticipate that SAO’s sales mix will improve based on recent trends in our backlog. In addition, the performance engineered products (PEP) segment is expected to improve year-over-year. Finally, we remain focused on keeping our selling, general and administrative expenses flat. These are the crucial building blocks in terms of driving profitable growth as we progress through our fiscal year.

Strong focus

“We have now completed the majority of our spending related to capacity expansion, and we are committed to driving returns on these investments. We have a strong focus on cash generation, and we are also committed to reduce inventory from current levels by the end of the fiscal year. While we have multiple strategic options to deploy this cash, as well as a strong balance sheet, our recently authorized share repurchase program gives us an important option to return future cash flow to our shareholders.”