Net sales in the fourth quarter of $4.4 billion increased 13%, reflecting the Valves & Controls acquisition and underlying sales growth of 3%. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma only moderately affected fourth quarter sales, and the company expects to recover these sales over the next 12 months as affected areas rebuild. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.77, up 4% compared with the prior year.
Fiscal year net sales of $15.3 billion increased 5%, including the Valves & Controls acquisition and underlying sales growth of 1%, reflecting broad-based recovery across key end markets. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $2.54. Excluding a ($0.10) impact from Valves & Controls first year acquisition accounting charges, adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $2.64, above management’s previous guidance of $2.58 to $2.62.
Operating cash flow from continuing operations was $2.7 billion and free cash flow from continuing operations exceeded $2.2 billion, reflecting 135% conversion of net earnings from continuing operations.
“Weather events disrupted our operations and end markets in the final two months of the fiscal year. Given the importance of the affected regions to our sales and operations, the potential negative impact to Emerson could have been significant,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David N. Farr. “However, our global teams were able to moderate the storm impact, executing well through the quarter to help our customers rebuild and to deliver strong earnings and cash flow to close the fiscal year.”