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International Flavors (IFF) Up 5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

Zacks Equity Research

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for International Flavors (IFF). Shares have added about 5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is International Flavors due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

International Flavors' Q3 Earnings & Sales Lag Estimates

International Flavors & Fragrances reported adjusted earnings of $1.53 per share in third-quarter 2019, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54. Also, the bottom-line figure declined 5.6% from the year-ago quarter’s $1.62. Growth in adjusted operating profit was more than offset by shares outstanding and higher interest expense related to the Frutarom acquisition.

Including one-time items, earnings per share in the quarter came in at $1.13 per share compared with the $1.17 recorded in the year-ago quarter.
In the reported quarter, International Flavors’ net sales were $1.27 billion, reflecting a year-over-year jump of 40%. The top-line figure, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.28 billion.

Operational Highlights

In the third quarter, International Flavors’ cost of goods sold surged 45% year over year to $734.3 million. Adjusted gross profit increased 35.6% year over year to $530.6 million. Adjusted gross margin came in at 41.8% compared with the 43.1% witnessed in the year-ago quarter.
Research and development expenses flared up 13% year over year to $85 million. Adjusted selling and administrative expenses in the September-end quarter rose 37.8% year over year to $196.4 million. Adjusted operating profit increased 22.2% year over year to $201 million. Adjusted operating margin came in at 15.8% compared with the year-ago quarter’s 18.1%.

Segmental Performances

Revenues in the Taste segment decreased 3%, year over year, to $423.3 million during the July-September quarter. On a constant-currency basis, revenues slipped 2% year over year. Operating profit inched up 1% year over year to $97.5 million. Despite strong business win, the segment’s performance was adversely impacted by volume erosion.

Revenues generated in the Scent segment came in at $480.4 million, up 2% year over year. On a constant-currency basis, revenues improved 3% year over year. Operating profit declined 4.5% year over year to $83.5 million.

Last October, International Flavors completed the acquisition of Frutarom Industries Ltd. The Frutarom segment’s revenues came in at $363.7 million and operating profit was $28 million during the quarter.

Financial Position

International Flavors had cash and cash equivalents of $504 million as of Sep 30, 2019, significantly down from the $5,274 million as of Sep 30, 2018.
Long-term debt fell to $4,008 million as of Sep 30, 2019, from $4,504 million as of Dec 31, 2018.

International Flavors generated $383 million of cash from operating activities during the nine-month period ended Sep 30, 2019, compared with the $202 million reported in the comparable period last year.

Capital invested in purchasing property, plant and equipment totaled $160.4 million during the nine-month period ended Sep 30, 2019. Dividend paid totaled $233.4 million during this period.

International Flavors has reiterated its guidance for 2019. Sales are projected at $5.15-$5.25 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are expected in the band of $4.85-$5.05. Adjusted earnings excluding amortization are anticipated between $6.15 and $6.35. The company expects to achieve cost savings of $50 million this year.

The company is focused on delivering solid top- and bottom-line results by creating value for shareholders through growth acceleration, margin expansion and integration.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, International Flavors has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


International Flavors has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

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