Energizer Holdings, Inc. ENR posted third-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein the bottom line lagged the Zacks Earnings Estimate while sales beat the same. Further, both metrics improved year over year. The company remains on track with executing its integration plans, which are likely to deliver more than $100 million in synergies by the end of 2021, backed by a strong and broad portfolio, expanded distribution in the United States and international markets, and increased investments in the auto care unit.
We note that shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 15.7% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 2.6%.
Q3 in Detail
Adjusted earnings came in at 50 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents butrose 35.1% from the year-ago quarter’s 37 cents. This can be attributable to improved sales, elevated gross profit and a decline in SG&A expenses. On the flip side, adverse impacts of COVID-19, including operating costs of roughly $9 million and high interest of nearly $4 million in a bid to strengthen liquidity, acted as deterrents.
The company reported net sales of $658 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $638 million. Also, sales rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis, buoyed by strength in batteries and auto care. However, currency woes hurt sales by 1.7% during the quarter.
Meanwhile, organic sales grew 3.4% in the quarter under review, driven by sturdy demand for batteries and auto care in the United States as well as higher pricing, somewhat offset by sluggish international markets. The company has been witnessing significant disruption in auto care and other international markets. Meanwhile, solid demand in battery sales across North America provided some cushion. Auto care and international sales have started recovering from the second half of the quarter.
Segments in Detail
Batteries revenues increased 3% year over year to $427.7 million, while revenues inthe Auto Care segment grew 0.4% to $161.4 million. Revenues in the Lights and Licensing segment improved 11.3% to $25.9 million.
In the Americas, the company recorded revenues of $491.9 million, up 5.8% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues inthe International segment amounted to $166.1 million, reflecting a decline of 8.8% from the year-ago quarter.
Energizer’s adjusted gross margin expanded 80 basis points (bps) to 40.8% on gains from improved pricing and realized synergies, partially offset by the adverse impact of foreign currencyand elevated costs related to the COVID-19 crisis.
SG&A expenses, excluding acquisition and integration costs, as a percentage of sales, amounted to 16.2%, contracting 120 bps from the year-ago quarter’s 17.4%. This decline was driven by gains from realized synergy owing to the exit of the transition service agreement (TSA) and a fall in spending related to COVID-19 restrictions. Further, advertising and sales promotion expenses totaled $37.3 million, highlighting a rise of 8.7% from the year-ago quarter, owing to increased investments in theproduct portfolio.
Adjusted EBITDA came in at $135 million, up 6% year over year on the back ofsolid battery demand stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, improvements in auto care sales and synergy savings.
Other Financial Details
Energizer ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $595.6 million, long-term debt of $3,252.5 million and shareholders' equity of $385.8 million.
Adjusted free cash flow from continuing operations was $243.7 million year to date. During the quarter, the company paid out dividends of 30 cents per share, which totaled $20.6 million. It also paid out dividends of $4 million for mandatory preferred convertible stock.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation, management issued a fiscal 2020 view. The company expects sales growth of 9-10% with organic sales growth of 1-1.5%. Adjusted earnings areenvisioned to be $2.45-$2.55 per share, which includes elevated cost and interest expenses of 19-22 cents. Also, currency headwinds are likely to mar the bottom line by roughly 16 cents. Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be $575-$585 million, including negative impacts related to COVID-19. Moreover, adjusted free cash flow is estimated to be more than $300 million.
Given its several initiatives, the companygenerated savings of $15 million in the fiscal third quarter and expects to save$45-$50 million in the fiscal year.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Energizer Holdings, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Energizer Holdings, Inc. Quote
Better-Ranked Consumer Staples Stocks to Watch
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings OLLI has a long-term earnings growth rate of 21.5% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Grocery Outlet Holdings GO has a long-term earnings growth rate of 13.5% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Campbell Soup Company CPB has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3% and a Zacks Rank #2.
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.
Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2021.
Click here for the 6 trades >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Campbell Soup Company (CPB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Energizer Holdings, Inc. (ENR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Ollies Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. (GO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research