Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Nov 18, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET
rate was 15.5% for the quarter compared to 18.9% for the fourth quarter of 2018. For the fiscal year 2019, the effective tax rate was 19% compared to 17.9% for the same period of the prior year. The adjusted effective tax rate for the full year was 17.5% compared to 16.8% for 2018.
Looking at cash flows, net cash generated by operating activities for fiscal year 2019 was $391 million compared to $299 million for the prior year. Capital expenditures were $99 million for 2019, compared to $127 million for the prior year. For fiscal year 2020, we anticipate capital expenditures to be approximately $80 million. Free cash flow for 2019 was $292 million compared to $172 million in the prior year. Free cash flow for 2019 was positively impacted by increased earnings and moderating capital expenditures. During the fiscal year 2019, $150 million was returned to stockholders in the form of $40 million of dividends and $110 million of repurchased shares.
Lastly, turning to our fiscal 2020 outlook. Total net sales are expected to be between $3 billion and $3.1 billion. Aerospace sales are anticipated to be up approximately 6% compared to the prior year. While ASC 606 favorably impacted Aerospace sales growth in fiscal year 2019, it is expected to have an unfavorable impact on sales growth in fiscal year 2020, due to the timing of sales orders and inventory levels.
With regard to the assumptions for the Boeing 737 MAX in our 2020 projections, we are estimating a return to service in the second quarter of our fiscal year with production rates ramping in line with the Boeing build rates communicated at the end of September. We assume initial provisioning will not ramp up until the second half of the fiscal year. As a result, we anticipate a year-over-year headwind to commercial aftermarket in the first half of the fiscal year and a tailwind in the second half.
Industrial sales growth is expected to be flat to up in the low-single-digits compared to the prior year. We expect strong natural gas truck sales in Asia and an improving turbine market outlook to be somewhat offset by softening in our oil and gas markets as a result of economic uncertainty and reduced spending on equipment.
Aerospace segment earnings as a percent of net sales are expected to be approximately 21% and Industrial segment earnings as a percent of net sales are expected to be approximately 14%. The effective tax rate for the year is expected to be approximately 22%. Earnings per share are expected to be between $5.30 and $5.60 per share based on approximately 64 million of fully diluted weighted average shares outstanding. The higher projected effective tax rate for 2020 represents an approximately $0.30 headwind to earnings per share. Earnings before tax is expected to grow in the mid-to-high teens range as compared to 2019.
For 2020, we anticipate free cash flow to be approximately $400 million, in line with our long-term target of 100% or