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ESCO Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results

- GAAP EPS $3.32 (Includes Technical Packaging Gain on Sale) - Adjusted EPS $0.43 (Tops Guidance and Consensus) -

St. Louis, Feb. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) (ESCO, or the Company) today reported its operating results for the first quarter ended December 31, 2019 (Q1 2020) compared to the first quarter ended December 31, 2018 (Q1 2019).

On January 2, 2020, the Company announced that it had completed the sale of its Technical Packaging segment effective December 31, 2019 which resulted in gross cash proceeds of $191 million ($187 million purchase price plus working capital surplus) and a $77 million, or $2.93 per share net gain on the sale.

The Technical Packaging segment’s operating results and the gain on the sale are presented as Discontinued Operations in the attached tables, and are excluded from the following discussion of the Company’s results from Continuing Operations for the comparable periods.

The financial results presented include certain non-GAAP financial measures such as EBIT, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS, as defined within the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” described below. Any non-GAAP financial measures presented are reconciled to their respective GAAP equivalents.

Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures are useful in assessing the ongoing operational profitability of the Company’s business segments, and therefore, allow shareholders better visibility into the Company’s underlying operations. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” described below.

Filtration / Fluid Flow Segment Renamed

With the addition of Globe Composite LLC (Globe) in Q4 2019, and in conjunction with the divestiture of the Technical Packaging segment, beginning in Q1 2020, Management has renamed the Filtration / Fluid Flow (Filtration) segment as Aerospace & Defense (A&D) to better reflect the composition of the segment’s products, end markets and customer characteristics.

The A&D segment’s individual legal and operating entities, historical financial results, and management structure are unchanged from what was formerly presented as Filtration.

Earnings Summary

Q1 2020 GAAP EPS of $3.32 per share included $0.41 per share from continuing operations and $2.91 per share from discontinued operations ($2.93 per share gain on the sale offset by a ($0.02) per share operating loss). Additionally, Q1 2020 GAAP EPS from continuing operations included $0.02 per share of charges related to discrete cost reduction actions (primarily Doble facility move costs) which were excluded when determining Q1 2020 Adjusted EPS of $0.43 per share. Q1 2020 GAAP net earnings were $87 million.

Q1 2019 GAAP EPS of $0.66 per share included $0.20 per share of discrete items resulting from the gain on the sale of the Doble headquarters building, partially offset by discrete cost reduction actions described in prior releases. The net effect of excluding the $0.20 per share of discrete items resulted in Q1 2019 Adjusted EPS of $0.46 per share. Q1 2019 GAAP net earnings were $17 million.

Q1 2020 Adjusted EPS of $0.43 exceeded Management’s previously communicated guidance of $0.35 to $0.40 per share, driven by better than expected operating performance in the Test and A&D segments.

Q1 2020 Adjusted EBITDA was $28.0 million, an increase of 5 percent over Q1 2019 Adjusted EBITDA of $26.7 million, led by Test and A&D which increased 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Operating Highlights

  • Net sales increased 5 percent to $172 million in Q1 2020 compared to $163 million in Q1 2019.
  • On a segment basis, Q1 2020 A&D sales increased 17 percent from Q1 2019, including $9 million in sales from the Globe acquisition together with strong contributions from PTI, Crissair, and Vacco. Test sales increased nominally as a result of the quarterly timing on large project milestones, and USG sales decreased $3 million as a result of the timing of product deliveries.
  • SG&A expenses increased in Q1 2020 as a result of higher spending on R&D / new product development, additional sales commissions, normal cost of living adjustments, and the addition of Globe.
  • Entered orders were $220 million in Q1 2020 (book-to-bill of 1.28x), an increase of 23 percent over Q1 2019 orders of $179 million, resulting in an ending backlog of $500 million at December 31, 2019, an increase of $48 million, or 11 percent, from September 30, 2019.
  • The effective income tax rate from continuing operations (GAAP and Adjusted) was 25 percent in Q1 2020. Management estimates future cash tax payments related to the sale of the Technical Packaging segment to be approximately $26 million.
  • Q1 2020 net cash provided by operating activities from Continuing Operations of $3 million, coupled with the cash proceeds from the sale of the Technical Packaging segment, resulted in $53 million of net debt outstanding (total borrowings, less cash on hand) at December 31 2019 with a 0.92x leverage ratio. Operating cash flow for Q1 2020 was negatively impacted by the timing of cash receipts between December 2019 and January 2020.

Chairman’s Commentary – Q1 2020

Vic Richey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The clear highlight of Q1 2020 is that we completed the sale of our Technical Packaging segment at the end of December and received approximately $190 million while recording a large gain on the sale, all while delivering operating results 3 cents above the top end of our guidance for Adjusted EPS.

“We received the cash from the divestiture on the last day of the Quarter, and the proceeds were used to pay down a substantial portion of our outstanding debt and to reduce our leverage ratio. We plan to use this additional liquidity and our substantial debt capacity to fund future acquisitions and grow our business as we continue to evaluate a robust pipeline of M&A opportunities and expect to add to our current portfolio during 2020.

“On the operational side, we delivered solid results during the Quarter as we exceeded our sales, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted EPS targets set at the start of the year. Our Test and A&D businesses contributed to our enhanced performance as both segments’ results exceeded their targets, and more than offset the timing-related sales and Adjusted EBITDA shortfall noted in USG.

“Globe continues to deliver results above expectations and its outlook appears to be gaining momentum such that we now believe this business may provide future contributions greater than our forecast at the time of acquisition. Recent new wins for additional content on navy submarines, both Virginia and Columbia Class, give me confidence that Globe’s growth prospects may materialize sooner than expected.

“We improved our consolidated Q1 2020 Adjusted EBITDA by 5 percent and maintained our margins above 16 percent despite the lower contribution from our highest margin segment. Our entered orders were strong as we booked $220 million of new business and grew our backlog from the start of the year by 11 percent to $500 million, which sets us up nicely for our projected growth over the remainder of the year.

“The Doble headquarters relocation was completed in November and I’m thrilled with the feedback from our staff as to how smooth the integration went and how energized everyone is to be in the new location. I’m certain this move will further enhance our operational efficiency and effectiveness.

“The recent news surrounding the suspended production of the 737MAX creates some headwind for us over the next few months until production resumes, but given that our OEM sales content on that platform is relatively modest, we believe we can absorb the earnings impact over the remainder of the year as we have well-defined opportunities across the A&D segment to mitigate this shortfall.

“We plan to build on the successes of Q1 and expect to continue benefitting from our disciplined operating culture throughout 2020. By narrowing our focus and simplifying the business with the recent divestiture, coupled with our solid market positions and tangible growth opportunities across the Company, I have a favorable view of the future with our goal remaining unchanged – to increase long-term shareholder value.”

Dividend Payment

The next quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share will be paid on April 17, 2020 to stockholders of record on April 2, 2020.

Business Outlook – 2020 Adjusted Basis

The Technical Packaging business segment’s results of operations, gain on sale, balance sheet and cash flows are reported as Discontinued Operations, and therefore, are excluded from the following discussion.

As previously described, Management plans to use a portion of the net proceeds during 2020 to fully fund, terminate, and annuitize the defined benefit pension plan currently maintained by the Company. Annuitizing this non-strategic liability through an insurance company will eliminate both equity market risk and interest rate volatility, thereby reducing our costs and eliminating future cash payments. The defined benefit plan was frozen in 2003 and no additional benefits have been accrued since that date. The accounting impact of terminating and annuitizing the pension will also be excluded from the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS.

Management continues to see meaningful net sales and Adjusted EBITDA growth across each of the Company’s business segments and anticipates growth rates in 2020 and beyond that will generally exceed the broader industrial market. The growth described below is expected to be enhanced by additional M&A contributions during the year.

Management’s expectations for growth in 2020 compared to 2019 are consistent with the details outlined in the November 19, 2019 release. The highlights are summarized here:

  • Management continues to expect 2020 Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $3.20 to $3.30 per share (compared to 2019 Adjusted EPS of $2.95 per share from Continuing Operations).
  • This increase reflects meaningful sales and Adjusted EBITDA growth, partially offset by the additional depreciation and amortization charges and incremental tax expense described previously.

On a quarterly basis and consistent with prior years, Management expects 2020 revenues and Adjusted EPS to be more back half weighted resulting in the second half of the year being stronger than the first half.

Management expects Q2 2020 Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $0.70 to $0.75 per share, compared to Q2 2019 Adjusted EPS from Continuing Operations of $0.71 per share. The timing of quarterly sales and earnings throughout the year, coupled with the discrete charges incurred within the respective quarters will impact quarterly comparability.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call today, February 4, at 4:00 p.m. Central Time, to discuss the Company’s Q1 2020 results. A live audio webcast will be available on the Company’s website at www.escotechnologies.com. Please access the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software. A replay of the conference call will be available on the Company’s website noted above or by phone (dial 1-855-859-2056 and enter the pass code 2159900).

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the timing and amounts of the Company’s expected quarterly, 2020 full year and beyond results, revenue and sales growth, sales, EPS, Adjusted EPS, EPS growth, cash, EBIT, Adjusted EBITDA margins, Adjusted EBITDA, interest expense, income tax expense, effective tax rate, non-cash depreciation and amortization of intangible assets, liquidity, actions in regard to the Company’s frozen defined benefit plan,  the realization of operational efficiencies, the Company’s competitiveness, the Company’s ability to increase operating margins, realize financial goals and increase shareholder value, the success of acquisition efforts, the use of proceeds from the recent divestiture, the long-term success of the Company, and any other statements which are not strictly historical are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws.

Investors are cautioned that such statements are only predictions and speak only as of the date of this release, and the Company undertakes no duty to update them except as may be required by applicable laws or regulations. The Company’s actual results in the future may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties that exist in the Company’s operations and business environment including but not limited to those described in Item 1A, “Risk Factors”, of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019, and the following: weakening of economic conditions in served markets; changes in customer demands or customer insolvencies; competition; intellectual property rights; technical difficulties; delivery delays or defaults by customers; material changes in the costs and availability of certain raw materials; the appropriation, allocation and availability of Government funds; the termination for convenience of Government and other customer contracts; the timing and content of future contract awards or customer orders; performance issues with key customers, suppliers and subcontractors; labor disputes; the impacts of natural disasters on the Company’s operations and those of the Company’s customers and suppliers; changes in laws and regulations, including but not limited to changes in accounting standards, taxation requirements, and new or modified tariffs; changes in interest rates; costs relating to environmental matters arising from current or former facilities; financial exposure in connection with Company guarantees of certain Aclara contracts; the availability of select acquisitions; and the uncertainty regarding the ultimate resolution of current disputes, claims, litigation or arbitration.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The financial measures EBIT, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS are presented in this press release. The Company defines “EBIT” as earnings before interest and taxes, “EBITDA” as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, “Adjusted EBITDA” as EBITDA excluding certain defined charges, and “Adjusted EPS” as GAAP earnings per share (EPS) excluding the net impact of the items described above which were $0.02 per share in Q1 2020.

EBIT, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS are not recognized in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, Management believes that EBIT, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are useful in assessing the operational profitability of the Company’s business segments because they exclude interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which are generally accounted for across the entire Company on a consolidated basis. EBIT is also one of the measures used by Management in determining resource allocations within the Company as well as incentive compensation. The presentation of EBIT, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS provides important supplemental information to investors by facilitating comparisons with other companies, many of which use similar non-GAAP financial measures to supplement their GAAP results. The use of non-GAAP financial measures is not intended to replace any measures of performance determined in accordance with GAAP.

ESCO, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri: Manufactures highly-engineered filtration and fluid control products for the aviation, navy, space and process markets worldwide, as well as composite-based products and solutions for navy, defense and industrial customers; is the industry leader in RF shielding and EMC test products; and provides diagnostic instruments, software and services for the benefit of industrial power users and the electric utility and renewable energy industries. Further information regarding ESCO and its subsidiaries is available on the Company’s website at www.escotechnologies.com.
  
  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES  
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)  
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)  
   
          Three Months
Ended
December 31,
2019
  Three Months
Ended
December 31,
2018
 
                 
Net Sales $ 171,728     163,365    
Cost and Expenses:          
  Cost of sales   106,727     102,454    
  Selling, general and administrative expenses   42,105     38,540    
  Amortization of intangible assets   5,810     4,400    
  Interest expense   2,421     1,855    
  Other expenses (income), net   295     (7,379 )  
    Total costs and expenses   157,358     139,870    
                 
Earnings before income taxes   14,370     23,495    
Income tax expense   3,606     6,145    
                 
    Earnings from continuing operations   10,764     17,350    
                 
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax expense          
  (benefit) of $269 and $(205)   (601 )   (33 )  
Gain on sale of discontinued operations, net of          
  tax expense of $23,734   76,614     -    
                 
    Earnings (loss) from discontinued operations   76,013     (33 )  
                 
    Net earnings $ 86,777     17,317    
                 
    Diluted EPS:          
    Diluted - GAAP          
      Continuing operations $ 0.41     0.66    
      Discontinued operations   2.91     0.00    
      Net earnings $ 3.32     0.66    
                 
    Diluted - As Adjusted Basis          
      Continuing operations $ 0.43   (1 ) 0.46   (2 )
                 
    Diluted average common shares O/S:   26,168     26,120    
                 
(1 ) Q1 2020 Adjusted EPS excludes $0.02 per share of after-tax charges primarily related to the move of the Doble headquarters facility.
                 
(2 ) Q1 2019 Adjusted EPS excludes $0.20 per share of after-tax income mainly resulting from the gain on the sale of the Doble Watertown property partially offset by certain restructuring charges primarily at Doble.

  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Business Segment Information (Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands)
 
        GAAP     As Adjusted
        Q1 2020   Q1 2019     Q1 2020   Q1 2019
Net  Sales                  
  Aerospace & Defense $ 77,511     66,224       77,511     66,224  
  Test   41,383     41,286       41,383     41,286  
  USG   52,834     55,855       52,834     55,855  
                       
    Totals $ 171,728     163,365       171,728     163,365  
                       
EBIT                  
  Aerospace & Defense $ 12,513     10,610       12,583     10,707  
  Test   4,656     3,310       4,656     3,310  
  USG   9,288     21,546       9,908     13,859  
  Corporate   (9,666 )   (10,116 )     (9,666 )   (9,751 )
    Consolidated EBIT   16,791     25,350       17,481     18,125  
    Less: Interest expense   (2,421 )   (1,855 )     (2,421 )   (1,855 )
    Less: Income tax expense   (3,606 )   (6,145 )     (3,772 )   (4,200 )
    Net earnings from continuing ops $ 10,764     17,350       11,288     12,070  
                       
Note 1: The tables on this page are presented on a continuing operations basis.    
                       
Note 2: Adjusted net earnings were $11.3 million in Q1 20 which excluded $0.02 per share of after-tax charges primarily related to the facility move costs at Doble.
                       
Note 3: Adjusted net earnings were $12.1 million in Q1 19 which excluded $0.20 per share of after-tax income primarily related to the Q1 19 gain on the sale of the Doble Watertown facility partially offset by charges related to other restructuring actions.
                       
EBITDA Reconciliation to Net earnings:                
            Q1 2020         Q1 2019
        Q1 2020    - As Adj     Q1 2019    - As Adj
Consolidated EBITDA $ 27,331     28,021       33,904     26,679  
Less: Depr & Amort   (10,540 )   (10,540 )     (8,554 )   (8,554 )
Consolidated EBIT   16,791     17,481       25,350     18,125  
Less: Interest expense   (2,421 )   (2,421 )     (1,855 )   (1,855 )
Less: Income tax expense   (3,606 )   (3,772 )     (6,145 )   (4,200 )
Net earnings $ 10,764     11,288       17,350     12,070  
                       

  

  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands)
 
        December 31,
2019
  September 30,
2019
             
Assets          
  Cash and cash equivalents $ 96,692   61,808
  Accounts receivable, net   160,714   158,715
  Contract assets   93,498   110,211
  Inventories   133,977   124,956
  Other current assets   13,417   14,190
  Assets of discontinued operations-current     -    25,314
    Total current assets   498,298   495,194
  Property, plant and equipment, net   135,576   127,843
  Intangible assets, net   378,248   381,605
  Goodwill   390,383   390,256
  Operating lease assets   20,209     - 
  Other assets   8,855   4,445
  Assets of discontinued operations-other     -    67,377
      $ 1,431,569   1,466,720
             
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity        
  Current maturities of long-term debt $ 20,000   20,000
  Accounts payable   53,056   63,800
  Contract liabilities   84,813   81,177
  Other current liabilities   94,161   75,141
  Liabilities of discontinued operations-current   -    11,517
    Total current liabilities   252,030   251,635
  Deferred tax liabilities   60,486   60,856
  Non-current operating lease liabilities   16,009     - 
  Other liabilities   57,553   59,008
  Long-term debt   130,000   265,000
  Liabilities of discontinued operations-other     -    3,999
  Shareholders' equity   915,491   826,222
      $ 1,431,569   1,466,720

  

  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands)
 
     Three Months
Ended
December 31, 2019
Cash flows from operating activities:    
  Net earnings $ 86,777  
  Earnings from discontinued operations   (76,013 )
  Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash    
  provided by operating activities:    
  Depreciation and amortization   10,540  
  Stock compensation expense   1,446  
  Changes in assets and liabilities   (19,051 )
  Effect of deferred taxes   (370 )
  Net cash provided by operating activities - continuing operations   3,329  
  Net cash used by operating activities -  discontinued operations   (622 )
  Net cash provided by operating activities    2,707  
     
Cash flows from investing activities:    
  Capital expenditures   (12,647 )
  Additions to capitalized software   (1,923 )
  Net cash used by investing activities - continuing operations   (14,570 )
  Proceeds from sale of discontinued operations   183,997  
  Capital expenditures - discontinued operations   (1,728 )
  Net cash provided by investing activities - discontinued operations 182,269  
  Net cash provided by investing activities   167,699  
     
Cash flows from financing activities:    
  Proceeds from long-term debt   10,000  
  Principal payments on long-term debt   (145,000 )
  Dividends paid   (2,079 )
  Net cash used by financing activities - continuing operations   (137,079 )
  Net cash used by financing activities - discontinued operations   (2,140 )
  Net cash used by financing activities   (139,219 )
     
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents   3,697  
     
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents   34,884  
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period   61,808  
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 96,692  

  

  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Other Selected Financial Data (Unaudited)  -- Continuing Operations Basis
(Dollars in thousands)
 
Backlog And Entered Orders - Q1 FY 2020   Aerospace & Defense   Test   USG   Total
  Beginning Backlog - 10/1/19 $ 276,273     133,571     41,715     451,559  
  Entered Orders   129,022     38,513     52,904     220,439  
  Sales     (77,511 )   (41,383 )   (52,834 )   (171,728 )
  Ending Backlog - 12/31/19 $ 327,784     130,701     41,785     500,270  

  

  

ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures (Unaudited)
 
       
EPS – Adjusted Basis Reconciliation – Q1 FY 2020    
  EPS from Continuing Ops – GAAP Basis – Q1 2020 $ 0.41  
  Adjustments (defined below)   0.02  
  EPS from Continuing Ops – As Adjusted Basis – Q1 2020 $ 0.43  
       
  Adjustments exclude $0.02 per share consisting of move costs associated with the
  Doble facility consolidation in the first quarter of 2020.    
  (The $0.02 of EPS adjustments per share consists of $690K of pre-tax charges
  offset by $166K of tax benefit for net impact of $524K.)    
       
EPS – Adjusted Basis Reconciliation – Q1 FY 2019    
  EPS from Continuing Ops – GAAP Basis – Q1 FY 2019 $ 0.66  
  Adjustments (defined below)   (0.20 )
  EPS from Continuing Ops – As Adjusted Basis – Q1 FY 2019 $ 0.46  
       
  Adjustments exclude $0.20 per share consisting of income related to the
  gain on sale of the Doble Watertown property partially offset by certain
  restructuring charges primarily at Doble in the first quarter of 2019.
  (The $0.20 of EPS adjustments per share consists of $7.2 million of pre-tax
  income offset by $1.9 million of tax expense for net impact of $5.3 million.)
       
       
EPS – Adjusted Basis Reconciliation – Q2 FY 2019    
  EPS from Continuing Ops – GAAP Basis – Q2 FY 2019 $ 0.68  
  Adjustments (defined below)   0.03  
  EPS from Continuing Ops – As Adjusted Basis – Q2 FY 2019 $ 0.71  
       
  Adjustments exclude $0.03 per share consisting of restructuring charges
  related to Doble, PTI & VACCO during the second quarter of 2019.
  (The $0.03 of EPS adjustments per share consists of $946K of pre-tax charges
  offset by $215K of tax benefit for net impact of $731K.)    

  

SOURCE ESCO Technologies Inc.
Kate Lowrey, Director of Investor Relations, (314) 213-7277