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WaterFurnace quarterly earnings fall 38%

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc. on Friday reported third-quarter earnings of $2.88 million, or 24 cents per share, a 38 percent drop from the $4.63 million, or 38 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2011.

The Fort Wayne-based maker of geothermal heat pumps blamed the soft economy, weak consumer confidence and low natural gas and propane prices for the results, which were reported after markets closed.

Tom Huntington, president and CEO, said WaterFurnace maintained focus on business investments, product innovation and market share during the quarter. Although sales declined 18 percent, to $29.5 million, the company’s market share increased, the company said.

In July, WaterFurnace signed a joint venture agreement with Chinese company Ningbo Shenglong Group Co. Ltd. to form WaterFurnace Shenglong HVACR Climate Solutions Ltd., also a Chinese company.

The deal allows the company access to customers and raw materials in the Chinese market. The joint venture started operations this week.