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AMCOL International Corporation (NYSE: ACO) Reports Fourth Quarter Results

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 24, 2014) - For the fourth quarter of 2013, AMCOL International Corporation ( NYSE : ACO ) reported $0.72 of diluted earnings per share attributable to AMCOL shareholders as compared to $0.34 per share in the prior year's period. The current quarter includes special items netting to a $0.27 per share gain recognized during the quarter. Excluding special items, diluted earnings are $0.45 per share. As discussed later herein, these items include a $0.35 per share gain on the sale of our investment in Ashapura Minechem Limited (AML), unusual expenses of $0.05 per share, and $0.03 per share of income tax expense related to effect of the impairment previously recognized in South Africa on our annual tax expense. In addition, we estimate that the severe, adverse weather conditions in the 2013 fourth quarter depressed earnings by $0.05 per share.

Net sales increased $22.9 million, or 9.7%, to $258.5 million in the 2013 fourth quarter. These sales were gained at margins comparative to the prior year's quarter, yielding an increase in gross profit of $5.6 million, or 9.2%. As selling, general and administrative expenses remained relatively constant as a percent of sales, operating profit increased $2.2 million, or 12.2%, while operating profit margin remained fairly constant. Excluding the special items mentioned above, operating profit margin would have been 8.9% as compared to 7.6% in the prior year's quarter.

The 21.4% effective tax rate for the 2013 fourth quarter is significantly affected by the AML share sale. Excluding this transaction and the effect of the South African impairment, our effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2013 was 25.6% as compared to 27.5% in the prior year's period. The difference is largely due to increased benefit of depletion deductions on the effective tax rate.

"We are very pleased to have ended 2013 on a strong note with record fourth quarter sales of $258.5 million. We also achieved a milestone for the company as annual sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever," said AMCOL President and CEO Ryan McKendrick.

"Our performance materials segment experienced nice growth on both the top and bottom lines with operating profit increasing 17.6%. The outlook for our flagship metalcasting products looks positive as our customers serving the auto industry anticipate steady demand in our core US and China markets. Demand continues to be strong for our pet products as we increase volumes to existing customers as well as gain new packaged product customers. Within basic minerals, all product lines experienced sales growth, especially due to demand for non-foundry chromite and bulk bentonite product," McKendrick said.

"In construction technologies, our restructuring and operational streamlining activities are really starting to pay off as operating profit nearly tripled and sales saw a healthy 12.8% increase in what is seasonally one of our lower quarters. However, performance was less than expected as it was hampered by severe weather, which pushed $3.8 million of revenue into 2014. Lining technologies led the revenue increase as we continue to win large mining and industrial bids. Our drilling product revenues also increased due to demand related to infrastructure projects," McKendrick continued.

"Our energy services segment increased their revenues slightly, but operating profits decreased $2.6 million. The decrease largely stems from increased SG&A expenses -- especially a $1.6 million bad debt in the quarter. The weather adversely affected energy services' results as well, delaying 17 projects worth $4.7 million in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico," McKendrick added.


The following paragraphs discuss our most recent results. The statement of operations highlights are supported by the quarterly segment results schedules included in this press release. As they relate to our results as contained in the statement of operations, the following comments relate to our results for the current quarter as compared to the same quarter in the prior year, unless otherwise noted. As they relate to the balance sheet, the following paragraphs highlight our financial condition as of December 31, 2013 as compared to December 31, 2012. As they relate to our statement of cash flows, the following comments compare our results for the year ended December 31, 2013 as compared to the prior year.

As mentioned previously, our operating profit was negatively affected by certain unusual items within the segments as follows:

    Performance Materials   Energy Services   Corporate   Total
Q4 operating profit reduction - $ million   $0.3   $2.1   $0.3   $2.7
Q4 estimated EPS reduction - $ / share   $0.01   $0.04   $0.01   $0.05

The expense in our performance materials segment relates to inventory write offs for discontinued products. The expense in our energy services segment is primarily from a large bad debt expense of $1.6 million. The $0.3 million in corporate relates to increased professional fees associated with the impairment of our South African operations.

On a segment basis, revenues in our performance materials segment increased $14.2 million, or 12.8%, largely due to improved volumes. Although basic minerals revenues led the overall increase due to strong demand for bulk product, non-foundry grade chromite and drilling fluid additives, our core metalcasting and pet products continue to be in strong demand. These increased volumes helped increase gross profit and operating profit margin.

Construction technologies segment revenues also increased 12.8%, or $6.4 million, due to increased demand for lining technology and drilling products. Gross profit margins decreased largely due to product mix. Our restructuring efforts are also beginning to show results in SG&A, which decreased $1.3 million and were a large contributor to the $2.4 million increase in operating profit and the 400 basis point improvement in operating profit margin.

Revenues in our energy services segment increased $1.1 million, or 1.5%. Revenues increased $2.4 million domestically and decreased $1.3 million internationally. Our domestic filtration and nitrogen service revenues increased nicely whereas we experienced decreased revenues in coil tubing and well testing services. While activity in the Gulf of Mexico continues to increase for our filtration services, we estimate that the segment in total would have had $4.7 million more revenue if adverse weather conditions had not occurred, especially in our land based services. SG&A expenses increased $2.9 million, largely due to a $1.6 bad debt expense.

Our cash flows from operating activities decreased $8.8 million to $99.9 million, the largest contributing factor of which is an increase in working capital to support the growth in revenues. For example, whereas receivables decreased $1.7 million in 2012, they increased $11.9 million in 2013. Investments in equipment for energy services and software within our corporate segment account for the entire increase in capital expenditures as most other segments experienced a decrease. We invested $5.0 million in Novinda in the first quarter of 2013, and we divested of our investment in Ashapura Minechem Limited in the fourth quarter of 2013, yielding a $13.9 million cash inflow. The combination of these factors resulted in debt levels staying relatively the same as compared to the prior year end. We declared quarterly dividends of $0.20 per share in the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2012.

This release should be read in conjunction with the attached unaudited, condensed, consolidated financial statements. It contains certain forward-looking statements regarding AMCOL's expected performance for future periods and actual results for such periods might materially differ. Such forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties, which include, but are not limited to, actual growth in AMCOL's various markets, utilization of AMCOL's plants, currency exchange rates, currency devaluation, delays in development, production and marketing of new products, integration of acquired businesses, and other factors detailed from time to time in AMCOL's annual report and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AMCOL undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in AMCOL's expectations.

Founded in 1927, AMCOL International Corporation is a leading producer and marketer of diverse specialty materials with a core expertise in minerals and polymer science. Through four business segments, Performance Materials, Construction Technologies, Energy Services, and Transportation and Logistics, AMCOL creates solutions that enhance the quality, efficiency and sustainability of its customers' products and services in a growing global marketplace. Headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, AMCOL International Corporation is a publicly owned company traded under the symbol ACO (NYSE). AMCOL's web address is www.amcol.com . AMCOL's quarterly quarter conference call will be available live today at 11 a.m. ET on the AMCOL website via webcast or by dialing 866-226-1792 .

(In Millions, Except per Share Data)  
    Twelve Months Ended     Three Months Ended  
December 31,     December 31,  
2013     2012     2013     2012  
Continuing Operations                                
Net sales   $ 1,013.7     $ 967.4     $ 258.5     $ 235.6  
Cost of sales     797.1       701.9       192.1       174.8  
    Gross profit     216.6       265.5       66.4       60.8  
Selling, general and administrative expenses     179.8       167.7       46.2       42.8  
    Operating profit     36.8       97.8       20.2       18.0  
Other income (expense):                                
  Interest expense, net     (10.2 )     (10.4 )     (2.6 )     (2.4 )
  Gain on sale of securities available-for-sale     12.6       -       12.6       -  
  Other, net     (2.8 )     (3.4 )     (0.8 )     (0.7 )
      (0.4 )     (13.8 )     9.2       (3.1 )
    Income before income taxes and income from affiliates and joint ventures     36.4       84.0       29.4       14.9  
Income tax expense     11.3       23.3       6.3       4.1  
    Income before income from affiliates and joint ventures     25.1       60.7       23.1       10.8  
Income from affiliates and joint ventures     3.2       3.9       0.7       0.5  
    Income (loss) from continuing operations     28.3       64.6       23.8       11.3  
Discontinued Operations                                
Income (loss) on discontinued operations     (4.2 )     0.3       (0.2 )     (0.3 )
    Net income (loss)     24.1       64.9       23.6       11.0  
Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests     (6.9 )     (0.2 )     (0.1 )     -  
Net income (loss) attributable to AMCOL shareholders   $ 31.0     $ 65.1     $ 23.7     $ 11.0  
Weighted average common shares outstanding     32.5       32.1       32.6       32.1  
Weighted average common and common equivalent shares outstanding     32.8       32.4       32.9       32.5  
Earnings (loss) per share attributable to AMCOL shareholders                                
Basic earnings (loss) per share:                                
  Continuing operations   $ 1.08     $ 2.02     $ 0.74     $ 0.35  
  Discontinued operations     (0.13 )     0.01       (0.01 )     (0.01 )
  Net income (loss)   $ 0.95     $ 2.03     $ 0.73     $ 0.34  
Diluted earnings (loss) per share:                                
  Continuing operations   $ 1.08     $ 2.00     $ 0.73     $ 0.35  
  Discontinued operations     (0.13 )     0.01       (0.01 )     (0.01 )
  Net income (loss)   $ 0.95     $ 2.01     $ 0.72     $ 0.34  
Dividends declared per share   $ 0.80     $ 0.76     $ 0.20     $ 0.20  
(In Millions)
ASSETS   December 31,     December 31,
2013     2012
Current assets:              
  Cash and equivalents   $ 47.8     $ 40.0
  Accounts receivable, net     214.6       202.7
  Inventories     143.9       153.8
  Prepaid expenses     20.6       17.0
  Assets held-for-sale     13.4       0.2
  Income tax receivable     12.7       7.0
  Deferred income tax     8.5       7.0
  Other     0.7       1.8
    Total current assets     462.2       429.5
Noncurrent assets:              
  Property, plant, equipment, and mineral rights and reserves:              
    Land     10.7       13.0
    Mineral rights     5.0       48.6
    Depreciable assets     573.2       552.0
      588.9       613.6
    Less: accumulated depreciation and depletion     325.3       311.7
      263.6       301.9
  Goodwill     68.7       70.2
  Intangible assets, net     27.9       33.9
  Investments in and advances to affiliates and joint ventures     34.1       27.8
  Available-for-sale securities     -       14.6
  Deferred income tax     27.3       7.4
  Other assets     28.0       25.3
    Total noncurrent assets     449.6       481.1
Total Assets   $ 911.8     $ 910.6
Current liabilities:              
  Accounts payable   $ 52.0     $ 51.1
  Accrued income tax     9.1       5.0
  Accrued liabilities     60.8       58.4
    Total current liabilities     121.9