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Rockwell Automation, Inc. reported first quarter fiscal 2021 results.
"The recovery in manufacturing is happening at a much faster pace than we were anticipating, with our total orders exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Demand was especially strong for Intelligent Devices and Information Solutions, which is expected to drive higher growth for the balance of the year. We continue to increase capacity and are expanding our manufacturing workforce to meet this sharp uptick in demand," said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO.
"In addition, our focus on protecting our intellectual property resulted in an important legal win in the quarter. We are using a portion of the gain that resulted from this ruling to make additional investments this year. This includes investments to pull forward key software product launches, which will increase recurring revenue in fiscal 2022 and beyond, as well as sustainability-related investments to drive our ESG goals," he said.
Fiscal 2021 Q1 Financial Results
Fiscal 2021 first quarter sales were $1,565.3 million, down 7.1 percent from $1,684.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Organic sales declined 9.7 percent, currency translation increased sales by 0.8 percentage points percent, and acquisitions increased sales by 1.8 percent.
Fiscal 2021 first quarter net income attributable to Rockwell Automation was $593.3 million or $5.06 per share, compared to $310.7 million or $2.66 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The increases in net income attributable to Rockwell Automation and EPS were primarily due to fair-value adjustments recognized in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 in connection with our investment in PTC (the "PTC adjustments"). Fiscal 2021 first quarter Adjusted EPS was $2.38, up 11 percent compared to $2.15 in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, primarily due to a $70 million pre-tax favorable legal settlement in the quarter ($0.45 EPS), partially offset by a higher tax rate and higher incentive compensation expense.
Pre-tax margin was 44.8 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to 19.9 percent in the same period last year. The increase in pre-tax margin was primarily due to the PTC adjustments and a favorable legal settlement in the quarter.
Total segment operating margin was 19.8 percent compared to 20.1 percent a year ago. Total segment operating earnings were $309.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, down 8.8 percent from $339.1 million in the same period of fiscal 2020.
Cash flow provided by operating activities in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 was $346.5 million, compared to $231.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Free cash flow was $319.4 million, compared to $194.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Cash flow provided by operating activities and free cash flow include $70 million of cash received in the quarter related to the legal settlement.
The COVID-19 pandemic and global efforts to respond to it continue to evolve. Our projections reflect the strong order performance we saw in the first quarter and assume no increase in pandemic-related facility closures or disruptions to the supply chain.