VANCOUVER, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/14/12 -- Northwest Pipe Company (NASDAQ: NWPX) today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. The Company will broadcast its first quarter 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 9:00 am PDT.
First Quarter 2012 Results
Net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 increased 27.6% to $142.2 million compared to $111.5 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Gross profit was $16.5 million (11.6% of net sales) in the first quarter of 2012, an increase from $14.8 million (13.2% of net sales) in the same quarter of 2011. Net income for the first quarter of 2012 was $4.7 million or $0.50 per diluted share compared to $2.9 million or $0.31 per diluted share for the same period in 2011.
Water Transmission sales decreased by 0.4% to $58.4 million in the first quarter of 2012 from $58.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. The decrease in sales was due to an 11% decrease in volume, partially offset by a 12% increase in selling price per ton. Water Transmission gross profit decreased to $9.7 million (16.6% of segment net sales) in the first quarter of 2012 from $9.9 million (16.9% of segment net sales) in the same quarter of the prior year. The decrease in gross profit was due to a 19% increase in steel cost during the first quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011.
Tubular Products sales increased 58.6% to $83.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 from $52.8 million in the first quarter of 2011, driven by a 40% increase in tons sold, from 47,500 tons to 66,600 tons, and a 17% increase in the average selling price per ton. The most significant increase in volume was for energy pipe, resulting from increases in sales related to natural gas and oil drilling operations. Tubular Products gross profit increased by 39.5% to $6.8 million (8.1% of segment net sales) in the first quarter of 2012 from $4.9 million (9.2% of segment net sales) in the same quarter of 2011. While gross profit increased with the increase in sales, it was tempered by higher steel costs as selling prices did not increase as rapidly as steel costs in the first quarter of 2012.
As of March 31, 2012, the backlog of orders was approximately $198 million, with the Water Transmission segment representing approximately $161 million and the Tubular Products segment representing approximately $37 million. This compared to a total backlog of orders of $258 million as of March 31, 2011, with the Water Transmission segment representing approximately $194 million and the Tubular Products segment representing approximately $64 million. The backlog includes confirmed orders, including the balance of projects in process, and projects for which the Company has been notified that they have been the successful bidder even though a binding agreement has not been executed.
"We have seen increases in sales and net income in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to the first quarter of 2011," said Richard Roman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "As previously discussed and reflected in our backlog numbers, we experienced a decline in bidding activity for our Water Transmission segment which we expect will result in lower sales and gross profit for that segment as we look forward in 2012. However, we anticipate strong energy markets for our Tubular Products Group will continue through 2012, resulting in increased sales and gross profit for that segment.