ITT Corp. shareholders at today’s annual meeting rejected a proposal by several church groups that would have required the global manufacturer to prepare a report on its foreign sales of military and weapons-related products and services.
The proposal drew just 6.8 percent of the votes cast at the meeting, the company said. Its sponsors were the Mercy Investment Program and the Dominican Sisters of Hope, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church.
ITT said 83 percent of common shares outstanding were voted at the meeting, held at ITT’s new offices at 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. Shareholders elected 10 board members.
An impairment charge and a general decline in business led to a sharp first-quarter loss at Drew Industries Inc. of White Plains, a supplier of parts for manufactured homes and recreational vehicles.
The company lost $36.7 million, or $1.70 a share, on sales of $71 million. For the comparable quarter a year earlier, Drew had net income of $9.11 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $159.1 million.
Driving most of the loss last quarter was a non-cash charge of $29.4 million, or $1.36 a share. The company announced last month that it was taking the charge because of uncertainties in the economy in general, and in the RV and manufactured home industries.
Three church groups will ask shareholders of ITT Corp. of White Plains to require the defense contractor to report on its foreign sales of weapons-related and military services.
The Dominican Sisters of Hope, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church plan to present the resolution at ITT’s annual meeting at its White Plains headquarters on May 12, according to the company’s proxy statement filed today.
The resolution would require the company to file a “comprehensive” report, excluding proprietary or classified data, within six months of the meeting. The resolution notes that two years ago ITT was fined $50 million for violating rules governing the handling of documents related to overseas military contracts.
“Weapons sold to one country at a certain time subsequently can become a threat to our own security, as we have seen several times in our recent history,” the church groups said in a statement accompanying the resolution. The report would help shareholders evaluate the effectiveness of new procedures the company has put in place to prevent further violations of the law, the groups added.
In arguing against the resolution, ITT said that the information already is in the public record through government agencies, ITT’s own annual report, and its Web site. Among other organizations, it cited the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (www dsca.mil,) which lists contracts and public notices of proposed military sales overseas.
The Insl-X Products Corp. paint plant in Stony Point will close by Dec. 30, eliminating 60-65 jobs in Rockland County, a spokeswoman for the companyâ€™s new owner said.
Benjamin Moore & Co. announced in March that it had acquired Insl-X from owner James A. Weil of Scarsdale. Moore spokeswoman Eileen McComb said about two dozen office jobs in Stony Point, the Insl-X headquarters, would be moved to Mooreâ€™s headquarters in Montvale, N.J.
Terms of Mooreâ€™s acquisition of Insl-X were not disclosed. Moore is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Co.
Insl-X has been in Stony Point for 18 years. It was founded in 1948 by Weilâ€™s father.Â Insl-x makes and sells its own brand of finishes; a number of acquisitions allowed it to expand from specialty and industrial products to architectural coatings.
In February the company paid off a $5.5 million bond that had been issued through the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency for the acquisition of 15 acres and the plant.
McComb said Moore bought the company because it would complement Mooreâ€™s holdings.
â€œI think we understood that some of the production was redundant,â€ she said. Moore has six paint plants, including one near Albany and another in New Jersey.
McComb said Moore will continue to operate Insl-X plants in Edgewater, Fla., San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas, and Elk Grove, Ill.
Ronald Hicks, chief executive officer of Rockland Economic Development Corp., said the business group has offered to help Moore market the 150,000-square-foot property for sale or lease.
Drew Industries Inc., a supplier of parts for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, said earnings in the second quarter fell 27 percent to $9.2 million from $12.6 million in the year ago period.
Revenues fell 18 percent to to $151 million, Drew said.
Drew blamed the drop on higher costs for raw materials, lower sales of RVs and nationâ€™s stunted housing market.
â€œThe impact of the current economic environment is more of a challenge than we anticipated just three months ago,â€ said Leigh J.Abrams, chief executive of the White Plains-based company.
On a per-share basis, Drew said it earned 42 cents a share in the three months ending June 30, compared to 57 cents a share during the same period last year.