Ecolab Q1 Profit Declines, But Tops View; Backs 2012 Outlook
5/1/2012 9:39 AM ET (RTTNews) - Cleaning and pest-control service provider Ecolab, Inc. (ECL: News ) reported Tuesday a profit for the first quarter that dropped 47 percent from last year, hurt by restructuring charges.
However, adjusted earnings per share grew and topped analysts' expectations, reflecting sales growth across all segments and regions. The company also provided earnings forecast for the second quarter, just below Street view, and maintained its earnings guidance for the full-year 2012.
The company noted that strong results were led by its global energy and Latin America operations, as well as the solid results from global water, worldwide Food & Beverage and U.S. Institutional businesses.
"The 'new' Ecolab is off to an excellent start. Our team did a great job successfully managing the business and simultaneously made great progress against our integration and synergy objectives, exceeding both. Most impressively, our team also delivered record new business gains," Chairman and CEO Douglas Baker, Jr. said in a statement.
The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company reported net income of $49.7 million or $0.17 per share for the first quarter, down from $93.6 million or $0.40 per share in the prior-year quarter.
OUTLOOK The strong first quarter results reaffirm the Company’s strategy for growth from both global expansion and higher value added products. All three segments delivered record first quarter profits. The surfactants segment experienced continued growth in higher value functional surfactants used in agricultural and oilfield products. The expansion efforts in Brazil delivered solid earnings growth. The Singapore methyl ester plant is just coming on line and should begin shipping product during the second quarter. The polymers segment delivered a record first quarter on continued growth of polyol product used in rigid foam insulation. The polyol plant expansion in Germany is operational. This new capacity will meet anticipated sales growth for the region. The polymer plant will complete its triennial maintenance shutdown in North American in the second quarter. The Lipid Nutrition business acquired last year contributed to a record quarter for the specialty products segment. The Company looks forward to further synergies with its historic business. The Company has an opportunity to build on its solid start and deliver significant earnings growth in 2012 as it continues to pursue long-term initiatives that deliver value for Company shareholders.
ECL q2 forecast is .72-.80 = roughly 21 forward p/e
SCL q2 forecast is $2.07 from one analyst = roughly 11 forward p/e