Mohawk boosts quarterly profits
Mohawk Industries Inc., boosted its first quarter earnings, excluding unusual charges, by 41 percent over last year to $90 million, or $1.23 per share. The results announced Thursday were 5 cents per share ahead of analysts expectations for the Calhoun, Ga.-based floorcovering manufacturer even though Mohawk's $1.8 billion in sales were slightly below what analysts had projected due to adverse winter weather.
Mohawk sales rose 22 percent over last year, boosted by acquisitions made during 2013. The company said it expects to boost 2014 profits to between $8 and $8.30 per share, up from $4.82 per share last year.
"We are planning to increase capital investments across the enterprise to an all-time high of $500 million to support the introduction of innovative products, to sustain our growth with increased manufacturing capacity and to drive productivity," Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum said.
Mortgage rates decline again
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined slightly this week as the spring home-buying season has gotten off to a slow start.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan eased to 4.29 percent from 4.33 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage ticked down to 3.38 percent from 3.39 percent.