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Graham Corporation Reports EPS of $0.30 in Q1 FY 2012

Graham Corporation (NYSE Amex: GHM), a global designer and manufacturer of critical equipment for the oil refining, petrochemical and power industries, including the supply of components and raw materials to nuclear power plants, today reported its financial results for its first quarter ended June 30, 2011. Graham’s current fiscal year (“fiscal 2012”) ends March 31, 2012. Results include Energy Steel & Supply Company (“Energy Steel”), which was acquired by Graham on December 14, 2010. Energy Steel is a nuclear code-accredited fabrication and specialty machining company that manufactures heat exchangers, structural weldments and valve and pump replacement parts for the nuclear power generation industry.

Net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were $25.0 million, an 87% increase over net sales of $13.4 million in the prior year’s first quarter. Traditional Graham sales increased $7.8 million, or 58%, while Energy Steel contributed $3.9 million to net sales in fiscal 2012’s first quarter.

Net income was $3.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, in fiscal 2012’s first quarter compared with $0.9 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the same prior-year period.

Mr. James R. Lines, Graham’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our strong organic sales growth and a solid contribution from Energy Steel drove significant improvement in our first-quarter sales and profitability. We believe that this is a result of our initiatives to invest in the continued growth of our business during the recent downturn. While our end markets have strengthened considerably over the last few quarters, we believe we are still in the early stages of what appears to be a sustained recovery in the global demand for our products. Moreover, by broadening and diversifying our product offerings, extending our reach into additional markets and expanding our relationships with key customers like the U.S. Navy, we also believe that we are exiting this downturn stronger than we had in previous downturns and are structured to take advantage of greater opportunities.”

Graham Serving Diverse Geographic and End Markets

International sales, which grew 76% to $13.8 million and were driven by expansion in the Middle East and South America, represented 55% of total sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with 59% in the first quarter of Graham’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 (“fiscal 2011”). Sales for Energy Steel, which represented 15% of total sales in the quarter, were substantially all in the U.S.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2012, 48% of Graham’s sales were to the refining industry compared with 25% of sales in the same period of the prior fiscal year, as some large Middle Eastern projects advanced and there was increased maintenance activity in the U.S. market. Sales to the power market were 23% of total sales, representing strengthened opportunities in the nuclear industry resulting from the Energy Steel acquisition as well as Graham’s continued success with alternative energy projects, specifically geothermal and biomass power opportunities. This compared with 8% of sales to the power market in fiscal 2011. Sales to other commercial and industrial applications accounted for 17% of sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with 27% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter, while approximately 12% of sales were to the chemical/petrochemical industry during the first quarter compared with 40% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter.

Fluctuations in Graham’s sales among geographic locations and industries can vary measurably from quarter to quarter based on the timing and magnitude of projects. Graham does not believe that such quarter-to-quarter fluctuations are indicative of business trends, which it believes are more apparent on a trailing 12-month basis.

Margin Improvements Driven by Higher Sales and Stronger Markets

Gross profit was $8.2 million, or 32.8% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Gross profit was $3.9 million, or 28.8% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year and 30.5% in the trailing fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were $3.7 million, including $50 thousand of amortization expense related to the acquisition of Energy Steel. As a result of improved operating leverage from higher sales, SG&A was 14.8% of sales in fiscal 2012’s first quarter compared with 19.2% in the prior year’s first quarter. Graham’s SG&A expenses are historically lower in the first quarter.

Operating profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $4.5 million, 250% greater than the operating profit of $1.3 million in the prior-year’s first quarter. Operating margin was 18.0% in the reported period compared with 9.6% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter. Higher capacity utilization helped drive margin improvements, offset somewhat by higher personnel costs tied to investments in additional staff linked to planned growth in fiscal 2012 and beyond.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was $5.0 million, or 20% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with $1.6 million, or 12% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. The Company believes that when used in conjunction with GAAP measures, EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP measure, helps in the understanding of operating performance. Graham’s credit facility also contains ratios based on EBITDA. The attached tables provide a Reconciliation of Net Income to EBITDA.

Interest income in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $21 thousand compared with $16 thousand in the same period of the prior fiscal year. The increase was due to a higher rate of return on the invested cash.

Balance Sheet Remains Strong with Significant Cash Position

Net cash used in operating activities in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $1.6 million compared with $2.8 million in the prior year’s first quarter and $4.5 million used in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The decrease in cash used in the quarter was due to higher net income, accrued compensation and timing of income taxes payable, offset by higher cash outflow for accounts receivable and payables.

Cash, cash equivalents and investments at June 30, 2011 were $41.1 million compared with $43.1 million at March 31, 2011 and $71.2 million at June 30, 2010. The acquisition of Energy Steel on December 14, 2010, required $17.9 million in cash. The remaining decrease was due to an increase in unbilled revenue driven by timing of billings for a small number of projects and an expected decrease in customer deposits used to procure raw materials. Given the increase in accounts receivable in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, as projects were completed and shipped to customers, we expect cash and investment to increase over the next few quarters.

Capital expenditures were $340 thousand in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, compared with $525 thousand for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Higher capital expenditures during fiscal 2011 were related to capital equipment requirements associated with the large U.S. Navy program order that Graham won in the third quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.

Capital expenditures in fiscal 2012 are expected to be approximately $3.0 million to $3.5 million, higher than Graham’s historic annual level of capital spending of $1.5 to $2.0 million due to planned facility improvements and for machinery and equipment.

In December 2010, Graham established a new credit facility with its bank that provides a $25 million revolving credit line, expandable to up to $50 million. Graham had no borrowings outstanding under the credit facility at the end of the first quarter, excluding $16.6 million in outstanding letters of credit.

Solid Growth Expected in Near Term with Modest Global Economic Recovery; Greater Expansion in Fiscal 2013 and Beyond Anticipated

Orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were $19.0 million, up 134% over orders in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, but down from $26.8 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Excluding Energy Steel, organic orders were up 71%, or $5.7 million. Approximately 27% of the total order value in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was won by Energy Steel. There continued to be excellent diversity in geography and markets with projects booked in the first quarter.

Orders from U.S. customers represented 67% of total orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2012. U.S. orders comprised 48% of total orders in fiscal 2011. Given the addition of Energy Steel and the growth in Asia and South America, Graham expects that orders will continue to be variable between quarters, but in the long run relatively balanced between domestic and international markets.

Graham’s backlog was $85.2 million at June 30, 2011 compared with $91.1 million at March 31, 2011 and $89.1 million at June 30, 2010. Included in backlog is $9.7 million associated with Energy Steel. At June 30, 2011, approximately 39% of backlog was related to other industrial or commercial applications, which included the Northrop Grumman-U.S. Navy carrier order. Also, 30% of projects in Graham’s backlog as of the end of the first quarter were for refinery projects, 21% for power projects, including nuclear, and 10% for chemical and petrochemical projects.

Approximately 80% to 85% of orders currently in backlog are expected to be converted to sales within the next 12 months, which is lower than Graham’s typical conversion rate of approximately 85% to 90% over an upcoming 12-month period. The Northrop Grumman project for the U.S. Navy has a measurable impact on backlog and conversion. While a significant portion of the project is expected to convert in fiscal 2012, more than 50% of the order is expected to still be in backlog at the end of fiscal 2012. The U.S. Navy’s carrier program order began to be recognized in revenue according to the percentage of completion method in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. No orders in Graham’s current backlog are on hold.

Graham continues to expect that fiscal 2012 sales will be in the range of $95 million to $105 million and that Energy Steel’s sales will represent 16% to 20% of such total. Graham also anticipates that there will be greater revenue concentration in fiscal 2012 than in prior years. Specifically, the U.S. Navy project and a Middle East refinery project are expected to account for approximately 25% of fiscal 2012 revenue.

Gross margin expectations for fiscal 2012 remain between 29% and 32%, although Graham now expects that its SG&A expense for fiscal 2012 will be in the range of $16.0 million to $17.0 million compared with its prior expectation of $16.5 million to $17.5 million. The expected annual effective tax rate range for fiscal 2012 remains unchanged at 33% and 35%.

Mr. Lines concluded, “We had an excellent first quarter and expect our second-quarter to be similar, depending on the timing of certain projects. Looking ahead to the second half of fiscal 2012, we expect margin compression as there will be changes to sales mix and pricing. In the longer term, our plan is to generate sustainable sales growth and profitability improvements as we expect end-market demand and our internal initiatives to drive organic growth. We continue to build opportunities and expanded sales at Energy Steel, and we plan to use our strong balance sheet to make additional acquisitions as they become available. I believe that our actions over the last four years have positioned Graham to take full and immediate advantage of any improvements in operating conditions, as our end markets continue to gain strength in what are still the early stages of the current up-cycle.”

Webcast and Conference Call

Graham will host a conference call and live webcast today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. During the conference call and webcast, James R. Lines, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Jeffrey F. Glajch, Vice President - Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer, will review Graham’s financial condition and operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, as well as Graham’s strategy and outlook. Their review will be accompanied by a slide presentation which will be available on Graham’s website at www.graham-mfg.com. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal discussion.

Graham’s conference call can be accessed by dialing 1-201-689-8560. Alternatively, the webcast can be monitored on the Graham Corporation website.

To listen to the archived call, dial 1-858-384-5517, and enter the Replay Pin Number 375489. A telephonic replay will be available from 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of release through August 4, 2011. A transcript of the call can be found on Graham’s website, once available.

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Graham Corporation
20 Florence Avenue. Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: 585.343.2216 // Fax: 585.343.1097
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