Hexcel Corporation HXL reported second-quarter 2019 earnings of 94 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 88 cents by 6.8%. The bottom line also improved 25.3% from the prior-year quarter’s 75 cents. This year-over-year upside can be attributed to robust sales growth and solid margin improvement.
Net sales totaled $609 million, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $604 million by 0.8% and increased 11.2% from the year-ago quarter’s $547.5 million.
Hexcel’s gross margin was 27.7% in the second quarter, reflecting a year-over-year expansion of 130 basis points. The year-over-year improvement reflects strong operational execution combined with reduced operational headwinds as compared to 2018.
The company’s operating expenses amounted to $53.7 million in the quarter compared with the previous year’s $48.3 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 11.9%, while research and technology expenses rose 9.2%.
Commercial Aerospace: Net sales increased 8.5% year over year to $416.5 million. The uptick can be attributed to strong performance of the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 programs.
Space and Defense: Net sales increased 21.9% year over year to $111.8 million, primarily owing to strong sales of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and fixed-wing programs, and the acquisition of ARC Technologies.
Industrial: Net sales rose 12.1% year over year to $80.7 million on high wind energy sales.
As of Jun 30, 2019, cash and cash equivalents were $55.4 million compared with $32.7 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
Long-term debt totaled $1,115.8 million as of June 30, 2019, up from $947.4 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
At the end of second-quarter 2019, cash generated from operating activities summed $157.2 million, which came in line with the prior-year quarter’s figure.
The effective tax rate was 22.9% in the reported quarter compared with 22.8% in the second quarter of 2018. Free cash flow was $57.9 million for the first six months of 2019 compared with $55.3 million for the same period last year.
Hexcel Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Hexcel Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Hexcel Corporation Quote
Dividend Hike Announcement
Along with the second-quarter earnings announcement, the company's board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 17 cents per share, representing 13.3% increase from the prior quarter’s dividend of 15 cents. The dividend is payable to stockholders of record as of Aug 2, 2019, on Aug 9.
For 2019, Hexcel continues to expect sales of $2.38-$2.48 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s full-year sales, pegged at $2.41 billion, lies below the mid-point of the company’s projected view.
It now projects adjusted earnings per share to be $3.43-$3.53 for the year compared with the previous guidance of $3.38-$3.52. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2019 earnings, pegged at $3.45, lies below the mid-point of the company’s guided range.
Hexcel forecasts free cash flow to exceed $250 million and accrual basis capital expenditures between $170 million and $190 million in 2019.
Hexcel currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Upcoming Defense Releases
Raytheon Company RTN, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), is scheduled to report first-quarter 2019 results on Apr 25. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. HII, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, is set to report first-quarter 2019 results on May 2.
General Dynamics Corp. GD, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, is scheduled to report first-quarter 2019 results on Apr 24.
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