Snap-On 10-K 2008
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 29, 2007, or
o TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number 1-7724
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(Registrants telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in a definitive proxy or information statement incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates (excludes 177,133 shares held by directors and executive officers) computed by reference to the price ($50.51) at which common equity was last sold as of the last business day of the registrants most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 30, 2007) was: $2.9 billion
The number of shares of Common Stock ($1.00 par value) of the registrant outstanding as of February 15, 2008, was 57,690,539 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III of this Report on Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information that will be set forth in Snap-ons Proxy Statement, which is expected to first be mailed to shareholders on or around March 19, 2008, prepared for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for April 24, 2008.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Statements in this document that are not historical facts, including statements that (i) are in the future tense; (ii) include the words expects, plans, targets, estimates, believes, anticipates, or similar words that reference Snap-on Incorporated (Snap-on or the company) or its management; (iii) are specifically identified as forward-looking; or (iv) describe Snap-ons or managements future outlook, plans, estimates, objectives or goals, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Snap-on cautions the reader that any forward-looking statements included in this document that are based upon assumptions and estimates were developed by management in good faith and are subject to risks, uncertainties or other factors that could cause (and in some cases have caused) actual results to differ materially from those described in any such statement. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results or regarded as a representation by the company or its management that the projected results will be achieved. For those forward-looking statements, Snap-on cautions the reader that numerous important factors, such as those listed below, as well as those factors discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly those in Item 1A: Risk Factors, could affect the companys actual results and could cause its actual consolidated results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by, or on behalf of, Snap-on.
These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, uncertainties related to estimates, statements, assumptions and projections generally, and the timing and progress with which Snap-on can attain efficiencies and savings from its Rapid Continuous Improvement (RCI) and cost reduction actions, including its ability to achieve improvements in the companys manufacturing footprint and greater efficiencies in its supply chain, and enhance machine maintenance, plant productivity and manufacturing line set-up and change-over practices, any or all of which could result in production inefficiencies, higher costs and lost revenues. These risks also include uncertainties related to Snap-ons capability to implement future strategies with respect to its existing businesses, its ability to refine its brand and franchise strategies, retain and attract franchisees, further enhance service and value to franchisees and thereby enhance their sales and profitability, introduce successful new products, successfully integrate acquisitions (including the companys November 28, 2006, acquisition of Snap-on Business Solutions (formerly ProQuest Business Solutions)), as well as its ability to withstand disruption arising from natural disasters, planned facility closures or other labor interruptions, litigation challenges and external negative factors including significant changes in the current competitive environment, inflation, interest rates and other monetary and market fluctuations; and the impact of legal proceedings, energy and raw material supply and pricing (including steel and gasoline), the amount, rate and growth of general and administrative expenses, including health care and postretirement costs, and terrorist disruptions on business. Snap-on disclaims any responsibility to update any forward-looking statement provided in this document, except as required by law.
In addition, investors should be aware that generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP) prescribe when a company should reserve for particular risks, including litigation exposures. Accordingly, results for a given reporting period could be significantly affected if and when a reserve is established for a major contingency. Reported results, therefore, may appear to be volatile in certain accounting periods.
Snap-on was incorporated under the laws of the state of Wisconsin in 1920 and reincorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware in 1930. Snap-on is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions for professional users. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as customers in industry, government, agriculture, aviation and natural resources. Snap-on also derives income from various financing programs to facilitate the sales of its products.
Snap-on markets its products and brands through multiple distribution sales channels in more than 130 countries. Snap-ons largest geographic markets include the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Snap-on also reaches its customers through the companys franchisee, company-direct, distributor and Internet channels. Snap-on originated the mobile van tool distribution channel in the automotive repair market.
Snap-ons business segments are based on the organization structure used by management for making operating and investment decisions and for assessing performance. Snap-ons reportable business segments include: (i) the Commercial & Industrial Group; (ii) the Snap-on Tools Group; (iii) the Diagnostics & Information Group; and (iv) Financial Services. The Commercial & Industrial Group consists of the business operations providing tools and equipment products and equipment repair services to a broad range of industrial and commercial customers worldwide through direct, distributor and other non-franchise distribution channels. The Snap-on Tools Group consists of the business operations serving the worldwide franchise van channel. The Diagnostics & Information Group consists of the business operations providing diagnostics equipment, vehicle service information, business management systems, electronic parts catalogs, and other solutions for vehicle service to customers in the worldwide vehicle service and repair marketplace. Financial Services consists of the business operations of Snap-on Credit LLC (SOC), a consolidated, 50%-owned joint venture between Snap-on and The CIT Group, Inc. (CIT), and Snap-ons wholly owned finance subsidiaries in those international markets where Snap-on has franchise operations. See Note 18 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on business segments and foreign operations.
Snap-on evaluates the performance of its reportable segments based on segment revenues and operating earnings. For the Commercial & Industrial, Snap-on Tools, and Diagnostics & Information Groups, segment net sales include both external and intersegment net sales. Snap-on accounts for intersegment sales and transfers based primarily on standard costs with reasonable mark-ups established between the segments. Identifiable assets by segment are those assets used in the respective reportable segments operations. Intersegment amounts are eliminated to arrive at consolidated financial results.
On November 28, 2006, Snap-on acquired the ProQuest Business Solutions business and certain net assets (collectively, Snap-on Business Solutions or Business Solutions) from ProQuest Company for an initial purchase price of $516.0 million of cash and the assumption of approximately $19 million of debt. Subsequent to the November 28, 2006, closing, the cash purchase price increased by $5.7 million to $521.7 million, primarily reflecting a higher level of working capital received by Snap-on at closing. For segment reporting, Snap-on Business Solutions is included in the Diagnostics & Information Group.
Snap-on Business Solutions is a world leader in automotive parts and service information. Its products are aimed at assisting original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their dealers to enhance their service operations. Business Solutions products include integrated software, services and systems that transform complex technical data for parts catalogs into easily accessed electronic information (electronic parts catalogs). Other products and services include warranty management systems and analytics to help dealerships manage and track the complex process of warranty claims management. Over 35,000 automotive dealerships around the world use Business Solutions electronic parts catalogs, which are available in 26 different languages and support 15 automotive manufacturers and 31 brands. Business Solutions products are also sold to over 85,000 dealers in the power equipment and power sports markets. See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the Snap-on Business Solutions acquisition.
Information Available on the Companys Web Site
Additional information regarding Snap-on and its products is available on the companys Web site at www.snapon.com. Snap-on is not including the information contained on its Web site as a part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Snap-ons Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Definitive Proxy Statements on Schedule 14A, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports, are made available to the public at no charge, other than an investors own Internet access charges, through the Investor Information section of the companys Web site at www.snapon.com/investor. Snap-on makes such material available on its Web site as soon as reasonably practicable after it electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Copies of any materials the company files with the SEC can also be obtained free of charge through the SECs Web site at www.sec.gov. The SECs Public Reference Room can be contacted at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549, or by calling 1-800-732-0330. In addition, the companys (i) charters for the Audit, Corporate Governance and Nominating, and Organization and Executive Compensation committees of the companys Board of Directors; (ii) Corporate Governance Guidelines; and (iii) Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are available on Snap-ons Web site. Snap-on will also post any amendments to these documents, or information about any waivers granted to directors or executive officers with respect to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, on the companys Web site at www.snapon.com. These documents are also available in print upon written request directed to the Corporate Secretary, 2801 80th Street, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53143.
Products and Services
Snap-on offers a broad line of products and complementary services that are grouped into three product categories: (i) tools; (ii) diagnostics and repair information; and (iii) equipment. Further product line information is not presented as it is not practicable to do so. The following table shows the consolidated net sales of these product categories for the last three years:
The tools product category includes hand tools, power tools and tool storage products. Hand tools include wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, pliers, ratchets, saws and cutting tools, pruning tools, torque measuring instruments and other similar products. Power tools include pneumatic (air), cordless (battery) and corded (electric) tools such as impact wrenches, ratchets, chisels, drills, sanders, polishers and similar products. Tool storage includes tool chests, roll cabinets and other similar products. The majority of products are manufactured by Snap-on and, in completing the product line, other items are purchased from external manufacturers.
The diagnostics and repair information product category includes handheld and PC-based diagnostics products, service and repair information products, diagnostic software solutions, electronic parts catalogs, business management systems, point-of-sale systems, integrated systems for vehicle service shops, equipment repair services, OEM purchasing facilitation services, and warranty management systems and analytics to help dealerships manage and track performance.
Snap-on supports the sale of its diagnostics and vehicle service shop equipment by offering training programs as well as after sales support for its customers, primarily focusing on the technologies and the application of specific products developed and marketed by Snap-on.
The equipment product category includes solutions for the diagnosis and service of automotive and industrial equipment. Products include wheel alignment equipment, wheel balancers, tire changers, vehicle lifts, test lane systems, collision repair equipment, air conditioning service equipment, brake service equipment, fluid exchange equipment, transmission troubleshooting equipment, safety testing equipment, battery chargers and hoists.
Products are marketed under a number of brand names and trademarks, many of which are well known in the vehicle service and industrial markets served. Some of the major trade names and trademarks and the products and services with which they are associated include the following:
In addition to its sales of tool, diagnostic, service and equipment solutions, Snap-on also generates revenue from various financing activities that include (i) loans to franchisees; (ii) loans to the franchisees customers; and (iii) loans to Snap-ons industrial and other customers for the purchase of tools, equipment and diagnostics products on an extended-term payment plan.
Franchise fee revenue, including nominal, non-refundable initial and ongoing monthly fees (primarily for sales and business training and marketing and product promotion programs), is recognized as the fees are earned.
Sales and Distribution
Snap-on markets and distributes its products and related services principally to professional tool and equipment users around the world. The two largest market sectors are the vehicle service and repair sector and the industrial sector.
Vehicle Service and Repair Sector
The vehicle service and repair sector has three main customer groups: (i) professional technicians who purchase tools and equipment for themselves; (ii) vehicle service and repair shop owners and managers - including independent shops, national chains and automotive dealerships - who purchase tools, equipment and diagnostics products for use by multiple technicians within a service or repair facility; and (iii) OEMs.
Snap-on provides innovative tool, equipment and business solutions, as well as technical sales support and training, to meet technicians evolving needs. Snap-ons franchise van distribution system offers technicians the convenience of purchasing quality tools with minimal disruption of their work routine. Snap-on also provides owners and managers of shops, where technicians work, with tools, diagnostics equipment, repair and service information, including electronic parts catalogs, and shop management products. Through its Equipment Solutions (OEM facilitation) business, Snap-on provides OEMs with products and services including tools, consulting services and facilitation services. Snap-ons facilitation services include product procurement, distribution and administrative support to customers for their dealership equipment programs.
Major challenges for Snap-on and the vehicle service and repair sector include the increasing rate of technological change within motor vehicles, vehicle population growth, vehicle life and the resulting impact on the businesses of both our suppliers and customers that is necessitated by such change. Snap-on believes it is a meaningful participant in the market sector for vehicle service and repair.
Snap-on markets its products globally to a broad cross-section of industrial and commercial customers including maintenance and repair operations; manufacturing and assembly facilities; various government agencies, facilities and operations, including military operations; vocational and technical schools; aerospace and aviation; OEM and repair customers; oil and gas developers; mining operations; energy and power generation equipment fabricators; agriculture; infrastructure construction companies; and other customers that require instrumentation, service tools and/or equipment for their products.
The industrial sector for Snap-on has achieved growth in recent years by providing value-added products and services to an increasingly expanding global base of customers, particularly those in the market segments of natural resources, aerospace, government and education. Through its experienced and dispersed sales organization, industrial solutioneers strive to develop unique and highly valued productivity solutions for customers worldwide that leverage Snap-ons product, service and development capabilities.
Major challenges in the industrial sector include a highly competitive, cost-conscious environment, and a trend toward customers making many of their tool and equipment purchases through one integrated supplier. Snap-on believes it is a meaningful participant in the market sector for industrial tools and equipment.
Snap-on serves customers primarily through the following channels of distribution: the mobile franchise van channel, company-direct sales, distributors and e-commerce. The following discussion summarizes Snap-ons general approach for each channel, and is not intended to be all-inclusive.
In the United States, the majority of sales to the vehicle service and repair sector are conducted through Snap-ons franchise van distribution system. Snap-ons franchisees primarily serve vehicle service technicians and vehicle service shop owners, generally providing weekly contact at the customers place of business. Franchisees sales are concentrated in hand and power tools, tool storage units, small diagnostic and shop equipment, and diagnostics and repair information products, which can easily be transported in a van and demonstrated during a brief sales call. Franchisees purchase Snap-ons products at a discount from suggested list prices and resell them at prices established by the franchisee. Most U.S. franchisees are provided a list of places of business that serves as the basis of the franchisees sales route, although some franchisees have sales areas defined by other methods.
Snap-on also offers a trial franchise option termed the Gateway Program to potential U.S. franchisees that do not meet the franchise qualification requirements. Gateway Program participants have less upfront investment and are provided an initial base level of consigned inventory from Snap-on to assist them in gaining experience and building equity toward the future purchase of a standard franchise. Snap-on also provides certain franchisees the opportunity to add vans to their franchise or to add a limited number of franchises. Snap-on charges nominal initial and ongoing monthly license fees. Since 1991, new U.S. franchisees, and a majority of the pre-1991 U.S. franchisees, have been enrolled as franchisees of Snap-on. At 2007 year end, 3,269 U.S. franchisees (approximately 96%) were enrolled as franchisees, or employed by franchisees, as compared with 3,308 U.S. franchisees (approximately 95%) at year-end 2006.
Snap-on has replicated its U.S. franchise van distribution model in certain other countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom. In many of these markets, as in the United States, purchase decisions are generally made or influenced by professional vehicle service technicians and shop owners. Snap-on markets products in certain other countries through its subsidiary, Snap-on Tools International LLC, which sells to foreign distributors under license or contract with Snap-on.
Through SOC, financing is available to U.S. franchisees, including financing for van and truck leases, working capital loans, and loans to enable new franchisees to fund the purchase of the franchise. Internationally, Snap-on offers financing to its franchisees and customer networks through its wholly owned finance subsidiaries. While Snap-on offers financing to qualified franchisees and their customers through SOC and its wholly owned international finance subsidiaries, the decision to finance through Snap-on or another financing entity is solely at the election of the customer.
Snap-on supports its franchisees with a field organization of regional offices, franchise performance teams, Diagnostic Sales Developers (DSDs), service centers and distribution centers. Snap-on also provides sales and business training, and marketing and product promotion programs, as well as customer and franchisee financing programs through SOC and its wholly owned international finance subsidiaries, all of which are designed to strengthen franchisee sales. In the United States and Canada, the National Franchise Advisory Council and the Snap-on Tools Canadian Franchise Advisory Council, both of which are composed of franchisees that are elected by franchisees, assist Snap-on in identifying and implementing enhancements to the franchise program.
In the United States, franchisees work closely with the DSDs. The DSD specialists demonstrate and sell higher-price-point diagnostics and vehicle service shop management information systems. DSDs work independently and with franchisees to identify and generate sales leads among vehicle service shop owners and managers. DSDs are Snap-on employees who, beginning in 2008, are compensated through a combination of base salary and commission; a franchisee receives a brokerage fee from certain sales made by the DSDs to the franchisees customers. Most products sold through franchisees and the DSDs are sold under the Snap-on, Blue-Point and Sun brand names.
Company Direct Sales
In the United States, a significant proportion of shop equipment sales under the Sun, John Bean and Blackhawk brands and information products under the Mitchell1 brand are made by a direct sales force that has responsibility for national accounts. As the vehicle service and repair sector consolidates (with more business conducted by national chains, automotive dealerships and franchised service centers), the company believes these larger organizations can be serviced
most effectively by sales people who can demonstrate and sell the full line of equipment and diagnostic products and services. Snap-on also sells these products and services directly to OEMs.
Snap-on brand tools and equipment are marketed to industrial and governmental customers in the United States through both industrial sales representatives, who are employees, and independent industrial distributors. In most markets outside the United States, industrial sales are conducted through independent distributors. The sales representatives focus on industrial customers whose main purchase criteria are quality and service. At the end of 2007, Snap-on had industrial sales representatives in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and some European, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries, with the United States representing the majority of Snap-ons total industrial sales.
Business Solutions sells automotive, power equipment and power sports software solutions, both domestically and internationally, through an internal sales force. Products and services are marketed to two targeted groups: OEMs and individual dealerships. To effectively reach the large OEMs in the automotive segment, such as General Motors Corporation, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler LLC, and Toyota Motor Corporation, Business Solutions has deployed a team of business development professionals in the worlds principal automotive centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Japan. In the United States and Canada, automotive products and services are sold directly to individual dealerships using an experienced sales force. In reaching customers such as John Deere (Deere & Company), JC Bamford Excavators Ltd. (JCB) and Yamaha Corporation of America (Yamaha) in the power equipment and power sports segments, teams are also positioned to support the 90+ brands that Business Solutions distributes to globally. Business management solutions are sold directly to the automotive OEMs in the United States and throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom.
Sales of certain tools and equipment are made through independent vehicle service and industrial distributors who purchase the items from Snap-on and resell them to end users. Hand tools under the Bahco, Fish and Hook, Pradines and Lindstrom brands and trade names, for example, are sold through distributors in Europe, North and South America, Asia and certain other parts of the world. Wheel service and other vehicle service equipment are sold through distributors primarily under brands including Hofmann, Kansas Jack, John Bean and Blackhawk. Sun-branded equipment is marketed through distributors in South America and Asia, and through both a direct sales force and distributors in Europe.
Snap-ons e-commerce development initiatives allow Snap-on to combine the capabilities of the Internet with Snap-ons existing brand sales and distribution strengths to reach new and under-served customer segments. Snap-on offers current and prospective customers online, around-the-clock access to purchase products through its public Internet Web site at www.snapon.com. The site features an online catalog containing nearly 14,000 products, including Snap-on hand tools, power tools, tool storage units and diagnostic equipment available to consumers and professionals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. At the end of 2007, Snap-on had more than 468,000 registered users, including approximately 38,000 industrial accounts. E-commerce and certain other system enhancement initiatives are designed to improve productivity and further leverage the one-on-one relationships and service Snap-on has with its current and prospective customers. Through business-to-business and business-to-consumer capabilities, Snap-on and its franchisees are enhancing communications with customers on a real-time, 24-hour, 7-day a week basis.
Snap-on competes on the basis of its product quality and performance, product line breadth and depth, service, brand awareness and imagery, and technological innovation. While no single company competes with Snap-on across all of its product lines and distribution channels, various companies compete in one or more product categories and/or distribution channels.
Snap-on believes it is a leading manufacturer and distributor of professional tools, diagnostics, equipment and repair solutions, offering the broadest line of these products to the vehicle service industry. The major competitors selling to professional technicians in the automotive service and repair sector through the mobile van channel include MAC Tools (The Stanley Works), Matco (Danaher Corporation), and Cornwell. Snap-on also competes with companies that sell tools and equipment to automotive technicians through non-mobile van distributors including Craftsman (Sears Brands LLC), RIDGID and Husky (The Home Depot, Inc.), and Kobalt (Lowes Companies, Inc.), auto parts supply outlets (such as NAPA, AutoZone, Inc. and Pep Boys), and tool supply warehouses/distributorships (such as MEDCO and Integrated Supply Network, Inc. (ISN)). Within the power tools category, Snap-ons major competitors include Ingersoll-Rand Co. Limited, The Black & Decker Corp., Makita Corp., Chicago Pneumatic (Atlas Copco), and Milwaukee Electric (Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.). In the industrial sector, major competitors include Facom Tools and Proto (The Stanley Works), Armstrong (Danaher Corporation), IRWIN (Newell Rubbermaid, Inc.), Cooper Industries, Ltd., and Westward (W.W. Grainger, Inc.). The major competitors selling diagnostics and shop equipment and information to shop owners and managers in the vehicle service and repair sector include Corghi S.p.A., Fluke and Hennessy (Danaher Corporation), Robinair and OTC (SPX Corporation), Hunter Engineering, Rotary Lift and Chief Automotive (Dover Corporation), Car-O-Liner AB, Lexcom GmbH, Infomedia Ltd., ALLDATA (AutoZone, Inc.), and the proprietary diagnostic and information systems of OEMs.
Raw Materials and Purchased Product
Snap-ons supply of raw materials and purchased components are generally and readily available from numerous suppliers. During 2006 and 2007, Snap-on experienced higher pricing related to certain grades and alloys of steel. Snap-on has secured an ample supply of both bar and coil steel for the near future to ensure stable supply to meet material demands. While Snap-on believes that steel prices will continue to remain high for 2008, the company does not anticipate experiencing any significant steel pricing or availability issues in 2008.
Patents, Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property
Snap-on vigorously pursues and relies on patent protection to protect its intellectual property and its position in its markets. As of December 29, 2007, Snap-on and its subsidiaries held over 800 active and pending patents in the United States and over 1,600 active and pending patents outside of the United States. Sales relating to any single patent did not represent a material portion of Snap-ons revenues in the last three years.
Examples of products that have features or designs that benefit from patent protection include wheel alignment systems, wheel balancers, tire changers, lifts, test lanes, sealed ratchets, electronic torque instruments, ratcheting screwdrivers, emissions-sensing devices and diagnostic equipment.
Much of the technology used in the manufacture of vehicle service tools and equipment is in the public domain. Snap-on relies primarily on trade secret protection to protect proprietary processes used in manufacturing. Methods and processes are patented when appropriate. Copyright protection is also utilized when appropriate.
Trademarks used by Snap-on are of continuing importance to Snap-on in the marketplace. Trademarks have been registered in the United States and more than 100 other countries, and additional applications for trademark registrations are pending. Snap-on vigorously polices proper use of its trademarks. Snap-ons right to manufacture and sell certain products is dependent upon licenses from others; however, these products under license do not represent a material portion of Snap-ons net sales.
Domain names have become a valuable corporate asset for companies around the world, including Snap-on. Domain names often contain a trademark or service mark or even a corporate name and are often considered intellectual property. The recognition and value of the Snap-on name, trademark, and domain name are core strengths of the company.
Snap-on is selectively and strategically licensing the Snap-on brand to carefully selected manufacturing and distribution companies for items such as apparel, work boots and a variety of other goods, in order to further build equity and market presence for the companys strongest brand.
Snap-on is subject to various environmental laws, ordinances, regulations, and other requirements of government authorities in the United States and other nations. At Snap-on, these environmental liabilities are managed through the Snap-on Environmental, Hygiene, and Safety Management System (EH & SMS), which is applied worldwide. The system is based upon continual improvement and is certified to ISO 14001:1996 and OHSAS 18001:1999, verified through Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Certification, Inc.
Snap-on believes that it complies with applicable environmental control requirements in its operations. Expenditures on environmental matters through EH & SMS have not had, and Snap-on does not for the foreseeable future expect them to have, a material effect upon Snap-ons capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position.
At the end of January 2008, Snap-on employed approximately 11,600 people compared to approximately 12,400 people at the end of January 2007. The year-over-year decrease primarily reflects the impacts of restructuring-related and management realignment actions at various Snap-on facilities, as well as the June 2007 sale of a non-strategic business based in the Netherlands.
Approximately 3,100 employees, or 27% of Snap-ons worldwide workforce, are represented by unions and/or covered under collective bargaining agreements. Approximately 1,100 employees are covered under agreements expiring in 2008. In recent years, Snap-on has not experienced any significant work slow-downs, stoppages or other labor disruptions.
The number of covered union employees whose contracts expire within the next five years approximates 1,100 employees in 2008; 500 employees in 2009; 650 employees in 2010; 100 employees in 2011; and zero employees in 2012.
There can be no assurance that future contracts with Snap-ons unions will be renegotiated upon terms acceptable to Snap-on.
As most of Snap-ons business is not seasonal and its inventory needs are relatively constant, no unusual working capital needs arise during the year. Snap-on did not have a significant backlog of orders at December 29, 2007.
Snap-ons financial condition and use of working capital are discussed herein in Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Neither Snap-on nor any of its segments, except Financial Services, depend on any single customer, small group of customers or government for any material part of its revenues. As a result of SOCs relationship with CIT, Snap-ons Financial Services segment depends on CIT for more than 10% of its revenues.
In evaluating the company, careful consideration should be given to the following risk factors, in addition to the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes. Each of these risk factors could adversely affect the companys business, operating results, cash flows and/or financial condition, as well as adversely affect the value of an investment in the companys common stock.
The success of Snap-ons mobile van tool distribution business depends on the success of its franchisees.
Approximately 38% of our 2007 revenues were generated by the Snap-on Tools Group, which consists of Snap-ons business operations serving the worldwide franchise van channel. Except in limited circumstances, each of our mobile tool vans is operated by a franchisee pursuant to a franchise agreement. Snap-ons success is dependent on its relationships with franchisees, individually and collectively, as they are the primary sales and service link between the company and vehicle service and repair technicians, who are an important class of end users for Snap-ons products and services. If our franchisees are not successful, or if we do not maintain an effective relationship with our franchisees, the delivery of products, the collection of receivables and/or our relationship with end users could be adversely affected and thereby negatively impact our financial results.
In addition, if we are unable to maintain effective relationships with franchisees, the company or the franchisees may choose to terminate the relationship, which may result in (i) open routes, in which end-use customers are not provided reliable service; (ii) litigation resulting from termination; and/or (iii) reduced collections or increased write-offs of franchisee receivables owed to Snap-on. As Snap-on has approximately 4,700 franchisees worldwide and most of these franchise relationships are governed by contract, it is not uncommon for litigation to result from the termination of these relationships.
We may not successfully integrate businesses we acquire, which could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial position.
If we pursue future growth through further acquisitions, including participation in joint ventures, this would involve significant risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position. These risks include:
· Loss of the acquired businesses customers;
· An inability to integrate successfully the acquired businesses operations;
· Inability to coordinate management and integrate and retain employees of the acquired businesses;
· Difficulties in implementing and maintaining consistent standards, controls, procedures, policies and information systems;
· Failure to realize anticipated synergies, economies of scale or other anticipated benefits, or to maintain operating margins;
· Strain on our personnel, systems and resources, and diversion of attention from other priorities;
· Incurrence of additional debt and related interest expense;
· The dilutive effect of the issuance of additional equity securities;
· Unforeseen or contingent liabilities of the acquired businesses; and
· Large write-offs or write-downs, or the impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets.
Information technology infrastructure is critical to supporting business objectives.
We depend heavily on information technology infrastructure to achieve our business objectives. If a problem occurs that impairs this infrastructure, the resulting disruption could impede our ability to record or process orders, manufacture and ship in a timely manner, or otherwise carry on business in the normal course. Any such events could cause us to lose customers or revenue and could require us to incur significant expense to remediate.
In association with initiatives to better integrate business units, rationalize operating footprint and improve responsiveness to franchisees and customers, Snap-on is replacing and enhancing its existing global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) management information system. The integration, implementation and deployment of new information technology processes and a common information infrastructure, which began in 2006, is occurring over a multi-year period. We could experience disruptions in our business as we implement the system enhancements, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
The recognition of impairment charges on goodwill or other intangible assets would adversely impact future financial position and results of operations.
We are required to perform impairment tests on our goodwill and other intangibles annually or at any time when events occur, which could impact the value of our business segments. Our determination of whether impairment has occurred is based on a comparison of each of our reporting units fair market value with its carrying value. Significant and unanticipated changes could require a provision for impairment in a future period that could substantially affect our reported earnings and reduce our consolidated net worth and shareholders equity.
The steps taken to restructure operations, rationalize operating footprint, lower operating expenses, and achieve greater efficiencies in the supply chain could disrupt business.
We have taken steps in the past, and expect to take additional steps in 2008, intended to improve customer service and to drive further efficiencies and reduce costs, some of which could be disruptive to our business. These actions, collectively across our operating groups, are focused on the following:
· Continue on the companys existing path to improve and transform global manufacturing and the supply chain into a market-demand-based replenishment system, with lower costs;
· Continue to enhance service and value to Snap-ons franchisees and customers;
· Continue to invest in initiatives focused on building a strong sales and operating presence in emerging growth markets;
· Continue to implement RCI activities throughout the organization to drive further efficiencies and reduce costs;
· Continue to invest in developing and marketing new, innovative, higher-value-added products and advanced technologies; and
· Extend Snap-ons products and services into additional and/or adjacent markets or to new customers.
Specific initiatives in each of these areas are underway. Snap-on believes that by executing on these focus areas, along with a continued commitment to new innovative products and RCI to drive higher levels of productivity and lower costs, the company and its franchisees will realize stronger growth and profitability. However, failure to succeed in the implementation of any or all of these actions could result in an inability to achieve our financial goals and could be disruptive to the business.
In addition, reductions to headcount and other cost reduction measures may result in the loss of technical expertise that could adversely affect our research and development efforts and ability to meet product development schedules. Efforts to reduce components of expense could result in the recording of charges for inventory and technology-related write-offs, workforce reduction costs or other charges relating to the consolidation of facilities. If we were to incur a substantial charge to further these efforts, our earnings (or loss) per share would be adversely affected in such period. If we are unable to effectively manage our cost reduction and restructuring efforts, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
Exposure to credit risks of customers and resellers may make it difficult to collect receivables and could adversely affect operating results and financial condition.
Industry and economic conditions have the potential to weaken the financial position of some of our customers. If circumstances surrounding our customers financial capabilities were to deteriorate, such write-downs or write-offs would negatively affect our operating results for the period in which they occur and, if large, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Failure to maintain effective distribution of products and services could adversely impact revenue, gross margin and profitability.
We use a variety of distribution methods to sell our products and services. Successfully managing the interaction of our distribution efforts to reach various potential customer segments for our products and services is a complex process. Moreover, since each distribution method has distinct risks and gross margins, our failure to implement the most advantageous balance in the delivery model for our products and services could adversely affect our revenue and gross margins and therefore our profitability.
Risks associated with the disruption of manufacturing operations could adversely affect profitability or competitive position.
We manufacture a significant portion of the products we sell. Any prolonged disruption in the operations of our existing manufacturing facilities, whether due to technical or labor difficulties, lack of raw material or component availability, destruction of or damage to any facility (including natural disasters, use and storage of hazardous materials or other events), or other reasons, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The inability to provide acceptable financing alternatives to end-user customers and franchisees could adversely impact operating results.
An integral component of Snap-ons business and profitability is its ability to offer financing alternatives to end-user customers and franchisees which, for its domestic financing operations, are managed through a joint venture with CIT. Historically, CIT has been the exclusive purchaser of the credit and installment financing arranged by SOC. A deterioration of the relationship between the joint venture partners, or if the joint venture should be unexpectedly dissolved, could have an adverse impact on Snap-ons results of operations and ability to provide financing to end-user customers and franchisees in the United States. Adverse fluctuations in interest rates and/or the ability to provide competitive financing programs could also have an adverse impact on Snap-ons revenue and profitability.
The global tool, equipment, and diagnostics and repair industry is competitive.
We face strong competition in all of our market segments. Price competition in our various industries is intense and pricing pressures from competitors and customers are increasing. In general, as a manufacturer and marketer of premium products and services, the expectations of Snap-ons customers and its franchisees are high and increasing. Any inability to maintain customer satisfaction could diminish Snap-ons premium image and reputation and could result in a lessening of its ability to command premium pricing. We expect that the level of competition will remain high in the future, which could limit our ability to maintain or increase market share or profitability.
The inability to continue to introduce new products that respond to customer needs and achieve market acceptance could result in lower revenues and reduced profitability.
Sales from new products represent a significant portion of our net sales and are expected to continue to represent a significant component of our future net sales. We may not be able to compete effectively unless we continue to enhance existing products or introduce new products to the marketplace in a timely manner. Product improvements and new product introductions require significant financial and other resources including significant planning, design, development, and testing at the technological, product, and manufacturing process levels. Our competitors new products may beat our products to market, be more effective with more features, be less expensive than our products, and/or render our products obsolete. Any new products that we develop may not receive market acceptance or otherwise generate any meaningful net sales or profits for us relative to our expectations based on, among other things, existing and anticipated investments in manufacturing capacity and commitments to fund advertising, marketing, promotional programs, and research and development.
Economic conditions and world events could affect our operating results.
We, our franchisees and our customers, may be adversely affected by an economic downturn such as changes in consumer and investor confidence, volatile corporate profits, and reduced business and consumer spending. We, our franchisees and customers, and the economy as a whole, also may be affected by future world events such as acts of terrorism, developments in the war on terrorism, conflicts in the Middle East and other international situations, and by natural disasters. These factors may affect our results of operations by reducing our sales, margins and/or net income as a result of a slowdown in customer orders or order cancellations. In addition, political and social turmoil related to international conflicts and terrorist acts may put further pressure on economic conditions abroad. Unstable political, social and economic conditions may make it difficult for our franchisees, customers, suppliers and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities. If such conditions persist, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow could be negatively affected.
Raw material and energy price fluctuations and shortages (including steel and various fuel sources) could adversely affect the ability to obtain needed manufacturing materials and could adversely affect results of operations.
The principal raw material used in the manufacture of our products is steel, which we purchase in competitive, price-sensitive markets. To meet Snap-ons high quality standards, our steel needs range from specialized alloys, which are available only from a limited group of approved suppliers, to commodity types of alloys. These raw materials have historically exhibited price and demand cyclicality. Some of these materials have been, and in the future may be, in short supply. As some steel alloys require specialized manufacturing procedures, we could experience inventory shortages if we were required to use an alternative manufacturer on short notice. Additionally, unexpected price increases could result in higher prices to our customers or an erosion of the margins on our products.
We believe our ability to sell our products is also dependent on the number of vehicles on the road, the number of miles driven and the general aging of vehicles. These factors affect the frequency, type and amount of service and repair performed on vehicles by technicians, and therefore affect the demand for the number of technicians, the prosperity of the technicians and, subsequently, the demand technicians have for our tools, other products and services, and the value technicians place on those products and services. To the extent that gasoline prices increase, consumers may turn to other, non-gasoline based, methods of transportation, including more frequent use of public transportation. A decrease in the use of gasoline consuming vehicles may lead to fewer repairs and less demand for our products.
We use various energy sources to transport, produce and distribute products, and some of our products have components that are petroleum based. Petroleum and energy prices have recently been volatile and have generally increased; further volatility and increases may be caused by market fluctuations, supply and demand, currency fluctuation, production and transportation disruption, world events, and changes in governmental programs. Price increases raise both our operating costs and the costs of our materials, and we may not be able to increase our prices enough to offset these costs. Higher prices also may reduce the level of future customer orders and our profitability.
Our operations expose us to the risk of environmental liabilities, costs, litigation and violations that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and reputation.
Certain of our operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate, which impose limitations on the discharge of pollutants into the ground, air and water and establish standards for the generation, treatment, use, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes. We must also comply with various health and safety regulations in the United States and abroad in connection with our operations. Failure to comply with any of these laws could result in civil and criminal, monetary and non-monetary penalties and damage to our reputation. In addition, we may incur costs related to remedial efforts or alleged environmental damage associated with past or current waste disposal practices. We cannot provide assurance that our costs of complying with current or future environmental protection and health and safety laws will not exceed our estimates or adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Foreign operations are subject to currency exchange, political and other risks that could adversely affect results of operations.
Approximately 43% of our revenues in 2007 were generated outside of the United States. Future growth rates and success of our business depends in large part on continued growth in our non-U.S. operations, including growth in emerging markets. Numerous risks and uncertainties affect our non-U.S. operations. These risks and uncertainties include political, economic and social instability, including acts of war, civil disturbance or acts of terrorism, local labor conditions, changes in government policies and regulations, including imposition or increases in withholding and other taxes on remittances and other payments by international subsidiaries, transportation delays or interruptions and difficulties in enforcement of contract and intellectual property rights. We are also affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates, inflation rates and interest rates. Additionally, cash generated in non-U.S. jurisdictions may be difficult to repatriate to the United States in a tax-efficient manner. Our foreign operations are also subject to other risks and challenges, such as the need to staff and manage diverse workforces, respond to the needs of multiple national and international marketplaces, and differing business climates and cultures in various countries.
Failure to adequately protect intellectual property could adversely affect business.
Intellectual property rights are an important and integral component of our business. We attempt to protect our intellectual property rights through a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws, as well as licensing agreements and third-party nondisclosure and assignment agreements. Adverse determinations in a judicial or administrative proceeding could prevent us from manufacturing and selling our products or prevent us from stopping others from manufacturing and selling competing products. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights for any reason could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The inability to successfully defend claims from taxing authorities could adversely affect operating results and financial position.
We conduct business in many countries, which requires us to interpret the income tax laws and rulings in each of those taxing jurisdictions. Due to the subjectivity of tax laws between those jurisdictions, as well as the subjectivity of factual
interpretations, our estimates of income tax liabilities may differ from actual payments or assessments. Claims from taxing authorities related to these differences could have an adverse impact on our operating results and financial position.
Failure to attract and retain qualified personnel could lead to a loss of revenue and/or profitability.
Snap-ons success depends, in part, on the efforts and abilities of its senior management team and other key employees. Their skills, experience and industry contacts significantly benefit our operations and administration. The failure to attract and retain members of our senior management team and other key employees could have a negative effect on our operating results. In addition, transitions of important responsibilities to new individuals inherently include the possibility of disruptions to our business and operations, which could negatively affect our operating results and financial position.
Failure to achieve expected investment returns on pension plan assets, as well as changes in interest rates, could adversely impact our results of operations, financial position and cash flow.
Snap-on sponsors various pension benefit plans. The assets of the pension plans are broadly diversified in an attempt to mitigate the risk of a large loss. The assets are invested in equity securities, fixed income securities, real estate and other real assets, other alternative investments and cash. Required funding for the companys defined benefit pension plans is determined in accordance with guidelines set forth in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Additional contributions to enhance the funded status of the pension plans can be made at the companys discretion. However, there can be no assurance that the value of the pension plan assets, or the investment returns on those plan assets, will be sufficient to meet the future benefit obligations of such plans. In addition, during periods of adverse investment market conditions and declining interest rates, the company may be required to make additional cash contributions to the plans that would reduce our financial flexibility.
Our defined benefit pension plan obligations are affected by changes in market interest rates. Significant fluctuations in market interest rates will add volatility to our pension plan obligations. Declining market interest rates will increase our pension plan obligations. While our plan assets are broadly diversified, there is inherent market risks associated with investments. If adverse market conditions develop, our plan assets could incur a loss. The combination of declining market interest rates and plan asset investment losses may adversely impact our financial position and results of operations.
The companys defined benefit pension expense is calculated by netting five factors: (i) service cost; (ii) interest on projected benefit obligations; (iii) the expected return on plan assets; (iv) the amortization of prior service costs; and (v) the effects of actuarial gains and losses. The accounting for pensions involves the estimation of a number of factors that are highly uncertain. Certain factors, such as the interest cost and the expected return on plan assets, are impacted by changes in market interest rates and the value of plan assets. A significant decrease in market interest rates and a decrease in the fair value of plan assets would increase net pension expense and may adversely affect the companys future results of operations. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the companys pension benefit plans.
Snap-on maintains leased and owned manufacturing, warehouse, distribution and office facilities throughout the world. Snap-on believes that its facilities currently in use are suitable and have adequate capacity to meet its present and foreseeable future demand. Snap-ons facilities in the United States occupy approximately 3.6 million square feet, of which 67% is owned, including its corporate and general office facility located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Snap-ons facilities outside the United States occupy approximately 3.5 million square feet, of which approximately 63% is owned. Certain Snap-on facilities are leased through operating lease agreements. See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the companys operating and capital leases. Snap-on management continually monitors the companys capacity needs and makes adjustments as dictated by market and other conditions.
The following table provides information about each of Snap-ons principal manufacturing locations and distribution centers (exceeding 50,000 square feet) as of December 29, 2007:
* Segment abbreviations:
In 2007, the company sold its former manufacturing facilities located in (i) Enköping, Sweden; (ii) Lidköping, Sweden; and (iii) Mt. Carmel, Illinois; the company also sold its former corporate office located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The Johnson City, Tennessee, manufacturing facility was closed in 2007 and is currently for sale.
See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on legal proceedings.
Snap-on is involved in various legal matters that are being litigated and/or settled in the ordinary course of business. Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of these legal matters, management believes that the results will not have a material impact on Snap-ons consolidated financial position or results of operations.
No matters were submitted to a vote of shareholders during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended December 29, 2007.
At December 29, 2007, Snap-on had 57,429,139 shares of common stock outstanding. Snap-ons stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNA. As of February 15, 2008, there were 7,194 registered holders of Snap-on common stock.
Snap-ons common stock high and low prices, as of the close of trading, for the last two fiscal years by quarter were as follows:
Snap-on has paid consecutive quarterly cash dividends, without interruption or reduction, since 1939. On November 1, 2007, Snap-on announced that its Board of Directors (Board) approved a $0.03 per share, or 11.1%, increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.30 per share. Quarterly dividends declared in 2007 were $0.30 in the fourth quarter and $0.27 in the first three quarters ($1.11 per share for the year). Quarterly dividends declared were $0.27 ($1.08 per share for the year) in 2006 and $0.25 per share ($1.00 per share for the year) in 2005. Cash dividends paid in 2007, 2006 and 2005 totaled $64.8 million, $63.6 million and $57.8 million, respectively. Snap-ons Board monitors and evaluates the companys dividend practice quarterly and the Board may elect to increase, decrease or not pay a dividend on Snap-on common stock based upon the companys financial condition, results of operations, cash requirements and future prospects of Snap-on and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.
See Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans.
The following chart discloses information regarding the shares of Snap-ons common stock repurchased by the company during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, all of which were purchased pursuant to the Boards authorizations that the company has publicly announced. Snap-on has undertaken stock repurchases from time to time to offset dilution created by shares issued for employee and dealer stock purchase plans, stock options, and other corporate purposes, as well as to repurchase shares when the company believes market conditions are favorable. The repurchase of Snap-on common stock is at the companys discretion, subject to prevailing financial and market conditions.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
*Subject to further adjustment pursuant to the 1996 Authorization described below, as of December 29, 2007, the approximate value of shares that may yet be purchased pursuant to the three outstanding Board authorizations discussed below is $116.8 million.
· In its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 28, 1996, Snap-on disclosed that the companys Board authorized the company to repurchase shares of its common stock from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions (the 1996 Authorization). The 1996 Authorization allows the repurchase of up to the number of shares issued or delivered from treasury from time to time under the various plans the company has in place that call for the issuance of the companys common stock. Because the number of shares that are purchased pursuant to the 1996 Authorization will change from time to time as (i) the company issues shares under its various plans; and (ii) shares are repurchased pursuant to this authorization, the number of shares authorized to be repurchased will vary from time to time. The 1996 Authorization will expire when terminated by the companys Board. When calculating the approximate value of shares that the company may yet purchase under the 1996 Authorization, the company assumed a price of $49.97, $47.07 and $48.13 per share of common stock as of the end of the fiscal 2007 months ended October 27, November 24 and December 29, respectively.
· On June 29, 1998, the company announced that its Board authorized the repurchase of an aggregate of $100 million of the companys common stock (the 1998 Authorization). The 1998 Authorization will expire when the aggregate repurchase price limit is met, unless terminated earlier by the companys Board.
· On February 3, 1999, the company announced that its Board authorized the repurchase of an aggregate of $50 million of the companys common stock (the 1999 Authorization). The 1999 Authorization will expire when the aggregate repurchase price limit is met, unless terminated earlier by the companys Board.
During 2007, the company repurchased 1,860,000 shares of common stock at an average purchase price of $50.77 per share.
Five-year Stock Performance Graph
The graph below illustrates the cumulative total shareholder return on Snap-on Common Stock since 2002, assuming that dividends were reinvested. The graph compares Snap-ons performance to that of the Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index (S&P 500) and a Peer Group.
Snap-on Incorporated Total Shareholder Return (1)
(1) Assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2002, and that dividends were reinvested quarterly.
(2) The companys fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to December 31 of each year; the fiscal year end is assumed to be December 31 for ease of calculation.
(3) The Peer Group includes: The Black & Decker Corporation, Cooper Industries, Ltd., Danaher Corporation, Emerson Electric Co., Fortune Brands, Inc., Genuine Parts Company, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Pentair, Inc., SPX Corporation, The Stanley Works and W.W. Grainger, Inc.
The selected financial data presented below has been derived from, and should be read in conjunction with, the respective historical consolidated financial statements of the company, including the notes thereto, and Item 7, Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
· Certain prior-year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2007 income statement presentation. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information regarding the 2007 income statement presentation.
· Results of operations for all years presented have been restated to reflect the June 29, 2007, sale of the Sun Electric Systems (SES) business based in the Netherlands as discontinued operations. Snap-on recorded an $8.0 million net loss from the sale of SES in 2007. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the sale of SES.
· Operating expenses and operating earnings in 2006 include a $38.0 million pretax charge ($23.4 million after tax or $0.40 per diluted share) to settle certain legal matters related to certain then current and former franchisees. Results in 2006 also include the impact of the companys acquisition of Snap-on Business Solutions for the approximate five-week period from November 28, 2006, to year end.
· Total shareholders equity of $1,076.3 million at year-end 2006 includes an $89.0 million reduction from the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 158, Employers Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Postretirement Plans: an amendment of FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106, and 132(R). See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the adoption of SFAS No. 158.
· In conjunction with the consolidation of Snap-on Credit LLC (SOC) at the beginning of 2004, Financial services revenue consists of SOCs sales of originated contracts and service fee income, as well as installment contract revenue and franchisee loan receivable revenue derived from SOC and Snap-ons wholly owned international finance operations. Snap-on began consolidating SOC in fiscal 2004 as a result of the adoption of Financial Interpretation No. 46R, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities (an interpretation of ARB No. 51). As Snap-on consolidated SOC on a prospective basis, previously issued financial statements were not restated. Prior to fiscal 2004, Snap-on accounted for SOC using the equity method. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on SOC.
In 2007 Snap-on continued to implement strategic initiatives intended to create long-term value for company shareholders, associates, franchisees and other distributor partners across all of its business segments and channels. During the year, Snap-on believes it made measurable progress on many fronts.
Net sales grew 15.7% year over year, with sales increases in each segment. Operating earnings of $324.8 million in 2007 nearly doubled from $162.8 million in 2006. Higher sales, increased income from financial services, and improved operating expense margins from ongoing efficiency, productivity and cost reduction (collectively Rapid Continuous Improvement or RCI) initiatives, along with the absence of the 2006 franchisee litigation settlement cost, all contributed to the significant year-over-year earnings improvement.
Our strategic priorities and plans for 2008 will continue to build on the improvement initiatives underway to achieve sustainable, profitable growth through increased sales and lower costs.
In the Commercial & Industrial Group, higher sales, including growth in emerging markets, combined with expense control and savings from restructuring initiatives to deliver continued improvements in operating performance. Segment net sales in 2007 were up 13.3% and operating earnings were up 23.8%.
Benefits from ongoing cost reduction and RCI initiatives, including increased production and sourcing of materials from lower-cost regions and facilities, were major contributors to the year-over-year earnings improvement. As a result of continued sales growth, improved levels of customer service, and savings from RCI and restructuring activities, operating earnings increased to $131.5 million in 2007.
The Commercial & Industrial Group expects to continue to build on the following strategic priorities in 2008:
· Continue to invest in emerging market growth initiatives, such as China, India and Eastern Europe;
· Increase market share in key industrial market segments by reaching new customers, building business with existing customers and continually improving order fill rates;
· Continued innovation in productivity-enhancing products that utilize increasingly advanced technology;
· Continue to pursue key, large customers that offer long-term growth potential; and
· Continue to rationalize the operating footprint and shift manufacturing activities to lower-cost regions.
In the Snap-on Tools Group, considerable progress on fundamental, strategic initiatives strengthened company operating and financial performance, as well as franchisee performance and satisfaction.
Higher sales of a mid-tier brand of tools and equipment (Blue Point), a re-launch of the companys warehouse distribution program, and a more focused promotional program all contributed to the 8.1% sales growth in 2007. Supply chain improvements and an ongoing transition to a market-demand-based replenishment system continued to improve complete and on-time delivery of a broad assortment of products. Operating earnings of $125.1 million in 2007 improved significantly from prior-year levels, primarily due to contributions from the higher sales and benefits from ongoing cost reduction and RCI initiatives, as well as the absence of the $38.0 million franchisee litigation settlement charge in 2006.
The Snap-on Tools Group expects to continue to build on the progress made in enhancing the franchise proposition and delivering customer productivity solutions, with specific initiatives in 2008 focused on the following:
· Continue to improve franchisee profitability and satisfaction;
· Improve service to existing customers;
· Introduce programs to capture un-served customers;
· Continued new product innovation and development;
· Continually improve the supply chain through investments in manufacturing and use of RCI; and
· Integrate customer driven, pull-marketing initiatives.
By executing in these areas, Snap-on believes the company and its franchisees will continue to serve more customers better and more profitably.
In the Diagnostics & Information Group, significant progress was realized across many facets of the business in 2007. Segment sales increased 28.5% to over $650 million, despite lower original equipment manufacturers (OEM) facilitation sales, due primarily to the wind down of a major facilitation program in Europe, and the outsourcing of certain non-strategic, low-margin products previously manufactured for the Snap-on Tools Group.
The integration of the Snap-on Business Solutions (Business Solutions) acquisition, which was acquired November 28, 2006, provided an opportunity to successfully build closer relationships with key OEM customers and strengthen Snap-ons position as a provider of productivity solutions. New product and program offerings, coupled with a renewed focus and dedication to customer delivery, were rewarded with solid sales growth. Integrating Snap-ons RCI initiatives also drove improved operating cost leverage.
The diagnostics equipment and software business, as well as the shop management business, grew through the development and launch of new hardware and software products targeted at a broader and growing customer base. Focus on RCI initiatives also achieved strong cost reduction and improved inventory turns.
The Diagnostics & Information Group expects to build on the following strategic priorities in 2008:
· Continued growth in the base business and emerging markets;
· Further leveraging of customer relationships and product and service offerings; and
· Continued innovation in new products and services.
Financial Services revenue increased 28.6% to $63.0 million, and operating income of $22.4 million increased 72.3% from the prior year. Originations in 2007 were flat with prior-year levels.
Snap-on delivered continued increased cash flow from operations of $231.1 million in 2007, up from $203.4 million in the prior year. Snap-on used available cash in 2007 to repurchase over 1.8 million shares of Snap-on common stock for $94.4 million, pay dividends totaling $64.8 million, and pay down debt of $36.6 million. Capital expenditures in 2007 of $61.9 million reflect higher levels of efficiency and cost-reduction capital investments and higher levels of spending to support strategic supply chain and other growth initiatives, including the expansion of the companys manufacturing capabilities in lower-cost regions and emerging markets. Cash at year-end 2007 of $93.0 million was up from $63.4 million at year-end 2006. In 2006, the company used available cash to fund, in part, the purchase of the Business Solutions acquisition, pay dividends totaling $63.6 million, repurchase over 2.6 million shares of Snap-on common stock for $109.8 million, and invest $50.5 million in capital expenditures.
Results of Operations
Fiscal 2007 vs. Fiscal 2006
Highlights of Snap-ons results of operations for the fiscal years ended December 29, 2007, and December 30, 2006, are as follows:
NM: Not meaningful
Note: Certain 2006 amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2007 income statement presentation. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the 2007 income statement presentation.
Percentage Disclosure: Cost of goods sold, Gross profit and Operating expense percentages are calculated as a percentage of Net sales. Financial services expenses and Operating income from financial services percentages are calculated as a percentage of Financial services revenue. All other income statement line item percentages are calculated as a percentage of the sum of Net sales and Financial services revenue.
Net sales in 2007 increased $386.1 million, or 15.7%, from 2006 levels, including $84.0 million from currency translation. Sales in the Commercial & Industrial Group increased $158.6 million, or 13.3%, year over year, primarily due to higher sales of professional tools and equipment in Europe, increased industrial sales, and continued strong sales growth in emerging markets. Sales in the Snap-on Tools Group increased $82.7 million, or 8.1%, from prior-year levels, primarily driven by a 6.3% increase in North American sales and continued strong growth in international sales. In the Diagnostics & Information Group, sales were up $144.4 million, or 28.5%, from 2006 levels, primarily due to sales from the November 28, 2006, acquisition of Business Solutions, partially offset by lower sales due to the wind down of an OEM facilitation program in Europe, and by lower sales as a result of outsourcing certain products previously manufactured and sold to the Snap-on Tools Group.
Gross profit in 2007 was $1,266.6 million, as compared to $1,079.8 million in 2006. The $186.8 million improvement in 2007 gross profit primarily reflects benefits from the higher sales, $40.6 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives, and $30.9
million of currency translation. These increases were partially offset by $22.5 million of increased production and material costs, and $6.6 million of higher year-over-year restructuring costs. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit improved from 44.0% in 2006 to 44.6% in 2007.
Operating expenses in 2007 were $964.2 million, as compared to $930.0 million in 2006. The $34.2 million increase in operating expenses includes $62.1 million of higher year-over-year operating expenses for Business Solutions (twelve months of operating expense in 2007 versus approximately five weeks of post-acquisition operating expense in 2006), $22.2 million of unfavorable currency translation, higher volume-related expenses, and increased spending for expansion in emerging markets. These increases in year-over-year operating expenses were largely offset by the absence, in 2007, of a $38.0 million franchisee litigation settlement charge recorded in 2006, higher benefits of $11.5 million from ongoing RCI initiatives, $6.4 million of gains on the sale of facilities and $2.0 million of lower restructuring costs. As a percentage of net sales, operating expenses of 33.9% were significantly improved from 2006 levels. See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the franchisee litigation settlement.
Interest expense of $46.1 million in 2007 was up from $20.6 million in 2006 primarily due to higher debt levels to finance the Business Solutions acquisition.
Other income (expense) net was income of $5.5 million in 2007 as compared to income of $5.3 million in 2006. This line item includes the impact of all non-operating items such as interest income and hedging and currency exchange rate transaction gains and losses. See Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on other income (expense) net.
Snap-ons effective income tax rate on earnings before minority interests and equity earnings (loss) was 32.5% in 2007, as compared with 31.1% in the prior year. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on income taxes.
On June 29, 2007, Snap-on sold its Sun Electric Systems (SES) business based in the Netherlands for a nominal cash purchase price. SESs primary business was the research, development and manufacture of test equipment in Europe for aircraft hydraulics. SES reported full-year sales of $18.3 million in 2006 and was not a significant subsidiary of Snap-on. Snap-on divested of SES as it deemed SES to be non-core to the companys ongoing strategies. The anticipated future capital and other resources necessary to be expended in connection with the SES business were not consistent with Snap-ons growth plans. Snap-on recorded an $8.0 million net loss ($9.2 million net loss on sale partially offset by $1.2 million of net earnings from operations) from the sale of SES in 2007. Certain prior year amounts were reclassified on the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Earnings to reflect the sale of SES as Discontinued operations, net of tax. For segment reporting purposes, the results of operations of SES were previously included in the Diagnostics & Information Group. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on SES.
Net earnings from continuing operations in 2007 were $189.2 million, or $3.23 per diluted share. Net earnings from continuing operations in 2006 were $97.9 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, including a $23.4 million after-tax charge ($0.40 per diluted share) related to the resolution of the franchisee litigation settlement. Net earnings in 2007 were $181.2 million, or $3.09 per diluted share, as compared to net earnings of $100.1 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, in 2006. Results of operations for 2007 include a full year of operating results for Business Solutions; results of operations for 2006 include approximately five weeks of post-acquisition operating results for Business Solutions. See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the Business Solutions acquisition.
Exit and Disposal Activities
See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on Snap-ons exit and disposal activities.
Snap-ons business segments are based on the organization structure used by management for making operating and investment decisions and for assessing performance. Snap-ons reportable business segments include: (i) the Commercial & Industrial Group; (ii) the Snap-on Tools Group; (iii) the Diagnostics & Information Group; and (iv) Financial Services. The Commercial & Industrial Group consists of the business operations providing tools and equipment products and equipment repair services to a broad range of industrial and commercial customers worldwide through direct, distributor and other non-franchise distribution channels. The Snap-on Tools Group consists of the business operations serving the worldwide franchise van channel. The Diagnostics & Information Group consists of the business operations providing diagnostics equipment, vehicle service information, business management systems, electronic parts catalogs, and other solutions for vehicle service to customers in the worldwide vehicle service and repair marketplace. Financial Services consists of the business operations of Snap-on Credit LLC (SOC), a consolidated, 50%-owned joint venture between Snap-on and The CIT Group, Inc. (CIT), and Snap-ons wholly owned finance subsidiaries in those international markets where Snap-on has franchise operations.
Snap-on evaluates the performance of its operating segments based on segment revenues and operating earnings. For the Commercial & Industrial, Snap-on Tools, and Diagnostics & Information Groups, segment net sales include both external and intersegment net sales. Snap-on accounts for intersegment sales and transfers based primarily on standard costs with reasonable mark-ups established between the segments. Identifiable assets by segment are those assets used in the respective reportable segments operations. Intersegment amounts are eliminated to arrive at consolidated financial results.
Commercial & Industrial Group
Segment net sales in 2007 increased $158.6 million, or 13.3%, from 2006 levels due to $101.4 million of higher sales and $57.2 million of currency translation. The $101.4 million sales increase primarily reflects higher sales of professional tools and equipment in Europe, increased industrial sales, and continued strong sales growth in emerging markets.
Segment gross profit of $483.5 million in 2007 was up $47.8 million over 2006 levels primarily due to higher sales, $24.6 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives, and $20.7 million of currency translation. These increases were partially offset by $14.4 million of increased production and material costs and $8.4 million of higher restructuring costs. Operating expenses of $352.0 million in 2007 were up $22.5 million from 2006 levels, but improved 160 basis points (100 basis points equals 1.0 percent) as a percentage of segment sales. The increase in year-over-year operating expenses primarily includes $15.2 million of currency translation, higher volume-related expenses, increased investment spending to further expand the companys sales and manufacturing presence in emerging growth markets and lower-cost regions, and $3.1 million of higher restructuring costs. These increases in operating expenses were partially offset by $5.4 million of gains on the sale of facilities in Europe and $3.1 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives. As a result of these factors, segment operating earnings in 2007 increased $25.3 million from 2006 levels. As a percentage of segment net sales, including the impact of $11.5 million of higher restructuring costs in 2007, operating earnings for the Commercial & Industrial Group improved from 8.9% in 2006 to 9.7% in 2007.
Snap-on Tools Group
NM: Not meaningful
Segment net sales in 2007 increased $82.7 million, or 8.1%, from 2006 levels primarily driven by a 6.3% increase in North American franchise sales, including higher sales from a new mid-tier product offering and the re-launch of the companys in-house warehouse distribution program, as well as the impacts of lower levels of franchisee turnover and product returns. Sales in the companys international franchise operations increased 15.3% year over year primarily due to continued strong growth in the United Kingdom and Australia. Currency translation contributed $18.0 million of the segments year-over-year sales increase.
Segment gross profit of $489.5 million in 2007 was up $41.8 million from 2006 levels primarily due to the higher sales and lower costs, including $15.9 million of benefits from ongoing RCI initiatives and $7.1 million of currency translation. These improvements to gross profit were partially offset by $7.0 million of higher production and material costs. Operating expenses of $364.4 million in 2007 were down $45.7 million from prior-year levels primarily due to the absence of the $38.0 million franchisee litigation settlement charge recorded in 2006, lower spending of $4.4 million in 2007 related to the companys strategic supply chain and franchise system initiatives, $3.3 million of lower bad debt expense, and $3.2 million of lower restructuring costs. These decreases in operating expenses were partially offset by $4.2 million of currency translation and higher volume-related expenses. As a result of these factors, operating earnings in 2007 for the Snap-on Tools Group increased $87.5 million from 2006 levels and, as a percentage of segment net sales, improved from 3.7% in 2006 to 11.3% in 2007.
Diagnostics & Information Group
Segment net sales in 2007 of $650.6 million increased $144.4 million, or 28.5%, from 2006 levels primarily due to $179.0 million of higher sales in 2007 (twelve months of sales in 2007 versus approximately five weeks of post-acquisition sales in 2006) from Business Solutions and higher sales of diagnostics and information products. Currency translation contributed $11.8 million of the year-over-year sales increase. These increases were partially offset by approximately $35 million of lower sales due to the wind down of an OEM facilitation program in Europe, and by lower sales from the outsourcing of certain non-strategic, low-margin diagnostics equipment products previously manufactured and sold to the Snap-on Tools Group.
Segment gross profit of $293.6 million in 2007 was up $97.2 million from 2006 levels primarily due to the higher sales and a more favorable product mix. As a percentage of segment net sales, gross profit margin of 45.1% in 2007 improved significantly from 38.8% in 2006. Operating expenses of $194.1 million were up $57.5 million from 2006 levels primarily due to $62.1 million of higher operating expenses for Business Solutions (twelve months of operating expense in 2007 versus approximately five weeks of post-acquisition operating expense in 2006), partially offset by $7.3 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives. As a result of these factors, operating earnings for the Diagnostics & Information Group in 2007 increased $39.7 million from 2006 levels and, as a percentage of segment net sales, improved from 11.8% in 2006 to 15.3% in 2007.
Financial services operating income in 2007 was $22.4 million on $63.0 million of revenue, as compared with $13.0 million of operating income on $49.0 million of revenue in 2006. The increase in operating income primarily reflects the impact of higher net yields and lower borrowing costs. Originations of $539.6 million in 2007 were essentially flat with prior-year levels.
Snap-ons general corporate expenses of $53.7 million in 2007 were essentially flat with the $53.8 million incurred in 2006.
Highlights of Snap-ons results of operations for the fiscal fourth quarters ended December 29, 2007, and December 30, 2006, are as follows:
NM: Not meaningful
Note: Certain 2006 amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2007 income statement presentation. See Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the 2007 income statement presentation.
Percentage Disclosure: Cost of goods sold, Gross profit and Operating expense percentages are calculated as a percentage of Net sales. Financial services expenses and Operating income from financial services percentages are calculated as a percentage of Financial services revenue. All other income statement line item percentages are calculated as a percentage of the sum of Net sales and Financial services revenue.
Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 increased $91.5 million, or 14.0%, from 2006 levels, including $59.9 million of higher sales and $31.6 million of currency translation. Sales in the Commercial & Industrial Group increased $51.5 million, or 16.2%, year over year, primarily due to higher industrial sales, increased sales of professional tools and equipment in Europe, and continued strong sales growth in emerging markets. Sales in the Snap-on Tools Group increased $11.6 million, or 4.4%, from 2006 levels primarily driven by continued strong sales in the companys international franchise operations and higher sales in North America. Sales in the Diagnostics & Information Group increased $29.4 million, or 21.0%, from 2006 levels primarily due to incremental fourth-quarter sales in 2007 from the November 28, 2006, acquisition of Business Solutions (13 weeks of sales in 2007 versus approximately five weeks of post-acquisition sales in 2006) and higher sales of diagnostics and information products, partially offset by lower sales due to the wind down of an OEM facilitation program in Europe.
Gross profit in the fourth quarter of 2007 was $333.4 million, or 44.9% of net sales, as compared to $282.7 million, or 43.4% of net sales, in 2006. The $50.7 million improvement in 2007 gross profit primarily reflects benefits from the higher sales, savings from ongoing RCI initiatives of $12.6 million, and currency translation of $11.4 million, partially offset by $7.4 million of increased production and material costs. Fourth-quarter 2007 gross profit also benefited from $6.0 million of last-in, first-out (LIFO) related inventory benefits; gross profit in the fourth quarter of 2006 included LIFO-related charges of $4.1 million.
Operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2007 were $245.1 million, as compared to $229.1 million in 2006. The $16.0 million increase includes $9.6 million of higher year-over-year operating expenses for Business Solutions, $8.0 million of currency translation, higher volume-related expenses, and $3.8 million of increased restructuring costs. These increases were partially offset by a $4.0 million gain on the sale of a facility in Europe, $2.6 million of lower bad debt expense, $1.9 million of benefits from ongoing RCI initiatives, and $1.7 million of lower spending in 2007 related to the companys strategic supply chain and franchise system initiatives. As a percentage of net sales, operating expenses improved 220 basis points to 33.0% in the fourth quarter of 2007, as compared to 35.2% in 2006.
Interest expense of $11.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 was up $4.5 million from 2006 levels primarily due to higher debt levels to finance the Business Solutions acquisition.
Other income (expense) net was expense of $0.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 as compared to income of $2.0 million in 2006. This line item includes the impact of all non-operating items such as interest income and hedging and currency exchange rate transaction gains and losses.
Snap-ons effective income tax rate on earnings before minority interests and equity earnings (loss) in the fourth quarter of 2007 was 31.2%, as compared with 28.5% in the prior year. The lower effective tax rate in 2006 primarily reflects the reversal of certain foreign income tax valuation allowances. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on income taxes.
Net earnings in the fourth quarter of 2007 were $57.3 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, as compared with net earnings of $38.0 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, in 2006. Results of operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 include a full quarter (13 weeks) of operating results for Business Solutions; results of operations for the fourth quarter of 2006 included approximately five weeks of post-acquisition operating results for Business Solutions.
Commercial & Industrial Group
Segment net sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 increased $51.5 million, or 16.2%, from 2006 levels, including $30.1 million of higher sales and $21.4 million of currency translation. The $30.1 million sales increase primarily reflects higher industrial sales, increased sales of professional tools and equipment in Europe, and continued strong sales growth in emerging markets.
Segment gross profit of $132.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 was up $15.9 million over 2006 levels. The improvement in gross profit primarily reflects benefits from the higher sales, $8.5 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives, and $7.3 million of currency translation. These improvements in gross profit were partially offset by $6.2 million of higher production and material costs and $1.1 million of higher year-over-year restructuring costs. Operating expenses of $94.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 were up $9.9 million from 2006 levels, but improved 100 basis points as a percentage of segment sales. The increase in operating expenses primarily includes $5.1 million of currency translation, $3.6 million of higher restructuring costs, higher volume-related expenses, and increased investment spending to further expand Snap-ons presence in emerging growth markets and lower-cost regions. These increases in operating expenses were partially offset by a $4.0 million gain on the sale of a facility in Europe and $1.1 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives. As a result of these factors, fourth-quarter operating earnings for the Commercial & Industrial Group increased $6.0 million from 2006 levels. As a percentage of segment net sales, including the impact of $4.7 million of higher restructuring costs in the fourth quarter of 2007, operating earnings for the Commercial & Industrial Group improved from 10.1% in 2006 to 10.3% in 2007.
Snap-on Tools Group
Segment net sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 increased $11.6 million, or 4.4%, from 2006 levels. Sales in the companys international franchise operations increased $9.6 million, or 19.3%, over 2006 levels, primarily due to continued strong sales growth in the United Kingdom and higher sales in Japan. Sales in the companys North American franchise operations increased 1.0% from 2006 levels. Currency translation contributed $7.5 million of the segments year-over-year sales increase.
Segment gross profit of $125.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 was up $18.0 million over 2006 levels primarily due to the higher sales and lower costs, including benefits of $4.1 million from ongoing RCI initiatives and $3.0 million of currency translation. Segment gross profit in 2007 also includes $6.0 million of LIFO-related inventory benefits; segment gross profit in 2006 included $4.1 million of LIFO-related charges. Operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2007 declined $3.3 million from prior-year levels primarily due to $2.3 million of lower bad debt expense and $1.7 million of lower costs in 2007 related to the companys strategic supply chain and franchise system initiatives. As a result of these factors, fourth-quarter operating earnings for the Snap-on Tools Group increased $21.3 million from 2006 levels and, as a percentage of segment net sales, improved from 5.8% in 2006 to 13.4% in 2007.
Diagnostics & Information Group
Segment net sales of $169.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 increased $29.4 million, or 21.0%, from 2006 levels. Incremental year-over-year sales of $31.4 million from the acquisition of Business Solutions (13 weeks of sales in 2007 versus approximately five weeks of post-acquisition sales in 2006) and higher sales of diagnostics and information products were partially offset by lower sales due to the wind down of an OEM facilitation program in Europe. Currency translation contributed $3.8 million of the year-over-year sales increase.
Segment gross profit of $75.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 increased $16.8 million from 2006 levels primarily due to the higher sales and a more favorable product mix. As a percentage of segment net sales, gross profit margin of 44.7% was up 260 basis points from 2006 levels. Operating expenses of $48.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 were up $10.1 million from 2006 levels primarily due to $9.6 million of higher year-over-year operating expenses for Business Solutions, partially offset by $2.6 million of savings from ongoing RCI initiatives. As a result of these factors, fourth-quarter operating earnings for the Diagnostics & Information Group increased $6.7 million from 2006 levels and, as a percentage of segment net sales, improved from 14.8% in 2006 to 16.2% in 2007.
Financial services operating income in the fourth quarter of 2007 was $8.0 million on $19.0 million of revenue, as compared with $5.0 million of operating income on $14.8 million of revenue in 2006. The increase in operating income primarily reflects the impact of higher net yields. Originations of $139.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 were up 3.0% from prior-year levels.
Snap-ons general corporate expenses of $13.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 were down slightly from the $14.5 million incurred in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Fiscal 2006 vs. Fiscal 2005
Highlights of Snap-ons results of operations for the fiscal years ended December 30, 2006, and December 31, 2005, are as follows: