Flow International Corporation is the world's leading developer and manufacturer of ultrahigh-pressure waterjet technology for cutting, cleaning and food safety applications. FLOW provides total system solutions for industries including automotive, aerospace, paper, surface preparation and food production. Flow International Corp. has a market cap of $113.9 million; its shares were traded at around $2.5 with and P/S ratio of 0.5. Highlight of Business Operations: Sales for the three months ended October 31, 2009 decreased $18.5 million or 31% over the prior year period primarily driven by the comparatively weak economic environment and its impact on capital spending and expansion plans. We continued to experience the most significant sales volume declines in our North America and Europe standard systems and spares, which combined for a revenue decline of $20.6 million or 47% from the prior year period. These declines were partially offset by improved sales of $6.1 million or 135% in our Advanced segment during the same period.
spares representing $39.4 million of this decline. These declines were partially offset by improved sales of $11.2 million in our Advanced segment during the same period.
Sales in our standard segment decreased $24.7 million or 44%, and $49.0 million or 45% over the prior year comparative periods. Excluding the impact of foreign currency changes, sales in the Standard segment declined $24.2 million or 43% and $46.8 million or 43% for the respective three and six months ended October 31, 2009 when compared to the prior year comparative periods. The quarter-to-date and year-to-date decline was primarily due to the following:
Gross margin for the three and six months ended October 31, 2009 amounted to $13.3 million or 42%, and $23.9 million or 40% of sales compared to $24.8 million or 44%, and $50 million or 46% of sales in the prior year comparative periods. Generally, comparison of gross margin rates will vary period over period based on changes in our product sales mix and prices, and levels of production volume. The decline in our margins for the current three and six month period over the prior year comparative periods was primarily attributable a shift in product mix to comparatively lower margin systems as well as higher manufacturing overhead costs resulting from lower manufacturing volume.
For the three and six months ended October 31, 2009, sales in our Advanced segment increased $6.1 million or 136%, and $11.2 million or 127% over the prior year comparative periods. The quarter-to-date and year-to-date increase is primarily due to the timing of revenue recognition for some of our aerospace contracts which were in the project design phase during the comparative prior period, which phase accounts for a low percentage of total estimated costs to complete.
Gross margin for the three and six months ended October 31, 2009 amounted to $3.3 million or 31%, and $6.7 million or 33% of sales compared to $828,000 or 18%, and $1.8 million or 20% of sales in the prior year comparative periods. The improvement in gross margin as a percentage of sales when compared to the prior year comparative periods is attributable to improved contract pricing as well as labor and material efficiencies experienced from consolidating the manufacturing for all our advanced systems to one facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Read the The complete ReportFLOW is in the portfolios of Chuck Royce of ROYCE & ASSOCIATES, Chuck Royce of ROYCE & ASSOCIATES.