Eaton Completes Debt Payment from Cooper Purchase; Looking for Acquisitions; Tailwind from Tariffs

August 7 [addtoany]

In a conference call with investors on 7 AUG, Craig Arnold, Eton Chairman & CEO stated, “As we’ve stated in prior quarters, having paid down the last tranche of debt associated with the Cooper acquisition, the company is certainly in a position today where, both from an organizational capacity standpoint and from a cash standpoint, that we are in the ability — we have the ability today to re-enter the M&A market. And today, I can tell you that we are looking at more opportunities than we have in quite some time. ”

An investor asked about the 301 tariffs and how it would affect Lighting, “… Is it feasible to think that, broadly speaking, pressure on profitability sort of shifts and you actually get some tailwinds into 2019?”

Arnold replied, “Yes. No, I mean, we certainly have looked at 301 in the context of that same issue and whether or not it should be a net benefit to our Lighting business. I think, at this juncture, I would say that it’s too early. It’s very possible that with tariffs being put on lighting products coming out of China and a lot of the low-end lighting coming from China, that there is, in fact, a bit of tailwind and help for the market in the industry overall. But I would just say the way we think about it today is it’s just too early to judge whether it’s going to play out that way. And it’s not baked into our forecast that way. And if it turns out to be a net positive, it certainly would be a bit of upside for us.”

Read the transcript here.