The Charlotte, Mich.-based manufacturer of custom chassis, emergency response and delivery and service vehicles reported its semi-annual dividend will be payable on Dec. 18 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 13.
“Declaring this dividend reflects Spartan’s improving operating performance and the Board’s confidence in the company’s future," said John Sztykiel, CEO of Spartan Motors. “The dividend demonstrates our commitment to enhancing shareholder value and providing shareholders a consistent return on their investment in Spartan Motors.”
The profit margin for the company’s engineered materials dipped more than 3 percent despite a 4.5 percent boost in sales, thanks largely to growth in the RV industry, over 2013, from $62 million to $64.7 million.
The decrease reflects a negative product mix and higher materials cost, according to the report.
Third quarter 2014 results included special items of $38.7 million in after-tax charges, or 65 cents per share. Third quarter 2013 results included special items of $4.1 million in after-tax charges, or 7 cents per share. Excluding these special items in both years, third quarter 2014 earnings per diluted share increased 8 percent to $1.12, compared to $1.04 in the third quarter of 2013.
Shipments graph showing 2014 and 2013 data. Click to enlarge.
This was the highest September total in seven years with gains recorded in all vehicle categories. Seasonally adjusted, shipments in September were at an annualized rate of more than 340,000 units.
Americans spend more than $650 billion annually on equipment ranging from skis and tents to RVs and boats and on services ranging from fishing licenses to whitewater outings, supporting millions of jobs in manufacturing, sales and service.
Though the 2008 recession hurt, especially in sales of new equipment, 2014 brought strong recovery. And technology in the outdoors is blossoming, bringing lighter and stronger skis and bikes and new electronic devices, like hand-held GPS units and digital cameras, adding to outdoor fun, according to the report.
Many public park sites suffered from hurricanes and fires and from the turmoil of government budgets in 2013, together causing a significant drop in visitation.
Sales of new single-family houses in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000. This was the highest rate seen since July 2008 when an estimated 477,000 were sold.
This total is 0.2 percent above the revised August rate of 466,000 and is 17 percent above the September 2013 estimate of 399,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in September 2014 was $259,000; the average sales price was $313,200.
In both the South and Midwest, sales showed solid growth from August. In the Northeast, the estimate remained at 30,000 sales, while in the West, sales dropped from 123,000 in August to 112,000.
The number of initial claims was 283,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week’s revised level, but the four-week moving average was 281,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since May 6, 2000, when it was 279,250. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 283,500 to 284,000.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Oct. 4 was 2,073,549, a decrease of 15,056 from the previous week. There were 3,855,710 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.
In September, manufacturing output moved up 0.5 percent. For the third quarter as a whole, manufacturing production rose at an annual rate of 3.5 percent and mining output increased at an annual rate of 8.7 percent, the Fed said.
The production of consumer goods rose 0.5 percent in September but decreased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the third quarter. After having dropped 3.6 percent in August, the output of consumer durables declined 0.3 percent further in September. Within consumer durables, losses in the indexes for automotive products and for home electronics slightly outweighed gains elsewhere.