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Lear (LEA) Fails to Maintain Momentum Despite Q1 Earnings Beat

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Lear Corporation LEA announced first-quarter 2021 results on May 7, before the opening bell. While the company’s comprehensive beat and improved year-over-year performance pushed the stock higher for two straight days post the earnings release, it failed to sustain the momentum. Shares of the company have declined 2% since the announcement of quarterly results.

Lear reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $3.73 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.94. Higher-than-expected revenues from both the company’s segments led to the outperformance. It recorded earnings of $2.05 per share in first-quarter 2020. For the reported quarter, revenues increased 20% year over year to $5,354 million. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,887 million.

Segment Performances

Sales in the Seating segment totaled $3,996 million for first-quarter 2021, reflecting an increase from the year-ago quarter’s $3,366 million. Moreover, the metric surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,707 million. Adjusted segmental earnings came in at $292 million, higher than $186.1 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020. The segment recorded adjusted margins of 7.7% of sales.

Sales in the E-Systems segment summed $1,358.4 million, up 24.5% year over year. The figure also topped the consensus mark of $1,279 million. Adjusted segmental earnings amounted to $89.3 million, higher than $32.4 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. For the E-Systems segment, adjusted margin was 7% of sales.

Financial Position

The company had $1,375.4 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Apr 3, 2021 compared with $1,306.7 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. It had a long-term debt of $2,300.8 million as of Apr 3, 2021, essentially unchanged from the year-ago level.

At first quarter-end, net cash provided by operating activities totaled $247.5 million, up from $222 million generated in the year-ago period. For the reported period, its capital expenditure amounted to $112.9 million, up from $109.1 million in the prior-year quarter. Free cash flow (FCF) came in at $134.6 million, lower than $113.2 million generated in the corresponding period of 2020.

2021 Guidance

Full-year net sales are expected between $20.3 billion and $21.1 billion. Core operating earnings are forecast in the band of $1,1340-$1,310 million. Capital spending is anticipated to be $625 million. FCF is envisioned in the range of $550-$700 million. Lear — whose peers include Magna International MGA, Adient PLC ADNT, and American Axle and Manufacturing AXL — currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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