Mettlertoledo International Inc. has a market cap of $4.04 billion; its shares were traded at around $119.83 with a P/E ratio of 21.5 and P/S ratio of 2.3. Mettlertoledo International Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 11.9% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Mettlertoledo International Inc. the business predictability rank of 2.5-star.MTD is in the portfolios of Ron Baron of Baron Funds, David Dreman of Dreman Value Management, Ruane Cunniff of Ruane & Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc, Chuck Royce of Royce& Associates, Steven Cohen of SAC Capital Advisors, Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC.
Highlight of Business Operations:Interest expense was $5.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 compared to $5.2 million for the corresponding period in 2009. Interest expense for the three month period ended March 31, 2010 includes costs associated with our interest rate swap agreements, partially offset by lower average borrowings.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, we initiated a global cost reduction program. Charges under the program primarily comprise severance costs and will approximate $40 million. Through March 31, 2010 total charges recognized were $38.2 million, of which $0.4 million and $8.4 million were recorded during the three month periods ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Under the program, our workforce (including employees and temporary personnel) has been reduced by approximately 1,000. As a result of the reduction in workforce, our personnel costs have been reduced by approximately $65 million on an annual basis. We expect total cost savings from our global cost reduction program to be approximately $100 million on an annual basis.
Cash provided by operating activities totaled $44.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2010, compared to $34.9 million in the corresponding period in 2009. The increase in 2010 resulted principally from increased net earnings. In addition, benefits during 2010 from reduced incentive payments related to previous year performance-related compensation incentives were offset by benefits during 2009 from reduced working capital balances associated with the decline in prior year business activity.
Capital expenditures are made primarily for investments in information systems and technology, machinery, equipment and the purchase and expansion of facilities. Our capital expenditures totaled $10.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 compared to $12.5 million in the corresponding period in 2009. Our first quarter 2010 capital expenditures included approximately $6.3 million of investments related to our Blue Ocean multi-year program of information technology investment, as compared with $7.3 million during the prior year comparable period. We expect that our annual capital expenditures will continue to be approximately $60 million until Blue Ocean is completed. These amounts may change based upon fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
During the three months ended March 31, 2010, we spent $29.2 million on the repurchase of 284,999 shares at an average price per share of $102.37. We reissued 76,112 shares and 67,540 shares held in treasury for the exercise of stock options and restricted stock units during the three months ended March 31, 2010 and March 31, 2009, respectively. We also reissued 2,549 shares and 6,467 shares held in treasury during the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively, pursuant to our 2007 Share Plan which extends certain eligible employees the option to receive a percentage of their annual bonus in shares of the Companys stock.
Because we conduct operations in many countries, our operating income can be significantly affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Swiss franc-denominated expenses represent a much greater percentage of our total operating expenses than Swiss franc-denominated sales represent of our total net sales. In part, this is because most of our manufacturing costs in Switzerland relate to products that are sold outside Switzerland. Moreover, a substantial percentage of our research and development expenses and general and administrative expenses are incurred in Switzerland. Therefore, if the Swiss franc strengthens against all or most of our major trading currencies (e.g., the U.S. dollar, the euro, other major European currencies, the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen), our operating profit is reduced. We also have significantly more sales in European currencies (other than the Swiss franc) than we have expenses in those currencies. Therefore, when European currencies weaken against the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc, it also decreases our operating profits. Accordingly, the Swiss franc exchange rate to the euro is an important cross-rate that we monitor. In recent years, we have seen higher volatility in exchange rates generally than in the past, and the Swiss franc has strengthened against the euro. We estimate that a 1% strengthening of the Swiss franc against the euro would result in a decrease in our earnings before tax of approximately $1.1 million to $1.4 million on an annual basis. In addition to the Swiss franc and major European currencies, we also conduct business in many geographies throughout the world, including Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Canada. Fluctuations in these currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar can also affect our operating results. In addition to the effects of exchange rate movements on operating profits, our debt levels can fluctuate due to changes in exchange rates, particularly between the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc. Based on our outstanding debt at March 31, 2010, we estimate that a 10% weakening of the U.S. dollar against the currencies in which our debt is denominated would result in an increase of approximately $6.5 million in the reported U.S. dollar value of the debt.
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