The Eastern Co., a Naugatuck-based firm, said first-quarter earnings fell due to costs related to a shareholder’s effort to join its board, a new factory, and lower metal products sales.
Net income for the maker of industrial hardware, security products and metal castings fell 42 percent to $874,000, or 14 cents per diluted share, from $1.5 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Eastern said a proxy contest by Barington Companies Equity Partners LP reduced earnings by 7 cents per diluted share, while costs to open a North Carolina plant cut them another 2 cents. Metal products sales fell 13 percent, but overall sales gained 3 percent to $36.9 million.
Chemtura, the Philadelphia-based specialty chemical maker that has about 450 workers at its former headquarters in Middlebury and its Nudenberg-Wheeler Technical Center in Naugatuck, said its first-quarter earnings more than doubled from last year primarily due to cost reductions.
The company last week reported net earnings of $21 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter, up 110 percent from net earnings of $10 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.
Net sales for the first quarter decreased 21 percent to $438 million, from $438 million a year earlier, the company said.