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Springfield, MO

Citing pension payments, Mueller Co. posts 2016 net loss

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Paul Mueller Co. (OTC: MUEL) officials say pension payments were primarily to blame for a 2016 net loss of $2.3 million.

The Springfield-based stainless steel equipment manufacturer’s net income figure for last year was 127 percent lower than profits of $8.6 million in 2015. The company’s diluted share loss was $1.88 for 2016, compared with a positive $6.95 in the prior year, according to a news release.

In September, Mueller Co. paid $13.8 million in pension settlements to 218 former workers who were no longer employed by the company as of May 6, 2016. Just over 50 percent of those eligible for payouts accepted the settlements. Officials also cited $1.6 million of a $2 million Springfield roof repair project paid during the year.

Financial highlights for 2016:
    •    Net sales dropped 6 percent to $168 million.
    •    In the fourth quarter, the company posted a net loss of $755,000, which compared with earnings of $1.7 million a year earlier.
    •    Mueller Co.’s order backlog was $44.2 million as of Dec. 31.

Mueller Co. held assets of $104.7 million as of Dec. 31, according to the release.

Mueller Co.’s over-the-counter stock was trading at $26.20 as of 10:08 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $25.90 to $31.

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