Regal Beloit Corporation RBC delivered better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2019, with earnings surpassing estimates by 1.5%. The company reported impressive results after its earnings lagged estimates by 6.75% in the second quarter of 2019.
Adjusted earnings in the reported quarter were $1.35 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.33. However, the bottom line declined 13.5% from the year-ago quarter’s $1.56 on weak sales performance and a fall in margins.
Core Sales, Divestments and Forex Woes
In the reported quarter, Regal Beloit’s net sales were $772.3 million, declining 16.5% year over year. Organic sales in the quarter fell 9.6%, while forex woes and divestments had adverse impacts of 0.7% and 6.2%, respectively.
Further, the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $825.4 million by 6.4%.
Excluding the impact of divested businesses, the company’s adjusted net sales in the reported quarter were $771.4 million, down 10.4% year over year.
Regal Beloit’s reports results under three segments — Climate Solutions, Commercial and Industrial Systems, and Power Transmission Solutions. The quarterly segmental results are briefly discussed below:
Revenues from Climate Solutions totaled $230.9 million, declining 9.6% year over year. It represented 29.9% of net sales. The results were adversely impacted by an organic sales decline of 4.8%, forex woes of 0.2% and divestiture impact of 4.6%. Notably, organic performance suffered from mild weather, headwinds related to residential HVAC, OEM destocking, weak commercial refrigeration business and other issues.
Commercial and Industrial Systems’ revenues, representing 46.4% of net sales, were $358.6 million, down 22.4% year over year. Organic sales in the reported quarter declined 12.7%, while divestments resulted in an adverse impact of 8.6%. Also, forex woes lowered sales by 1.1%.
Organic sales in the quarter suffered from weakness in the commercial HVAC market and industrial demand in China. Also, issues related to the pool pump market in North America and unfavorable timings of power generation projects played spoilsport.
Power Transmission Solutions’ revenues, representing 23.7% of net sales, were $182.8 million, down 12% year over year. Organic sales dipped 9.3% due to weakness in beverage, oil & gas, and agriculture end markets, partially offset by favorable business in the renewable energy market. Forex woes and divestments had adverse impacts of 0.6% and 2.1%, respectively.
In the reported quarter, Regal Beloit’s cost of sales declined 16.5% year over year to $570.4 million. It represented 73.9% of net sales versus 73.8% recorded in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin declined 10 basis points (bps) to 26.1%. Operating expenses of $129.1 million dipped 16.7% year over year and represented 16.7% of net sales in the quarter.
Adjusted operating profit was $81.3 million, down 18.5% year over year, while margin declined 110 bps to 10.5%. Interest expenses in the quarter were down 5.6% year over year to $13.4 million.
Adjusted effective tax rate in the quarter was 16.3% versus 20.2% in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Exiting the third quarter of 2019, Regal Beloit had cash and cash equivalents of $293 million, reflecting 0.6% growth from $291.3 million recorded in the last reported quarter. Long-term debt declined 1.8% sequentially to $1,200.3 million.
In the third quarter, Regal Beloit generated net cash of $140.6 million from operating activities, reflecting year-over-year growth of 32.6%. The company increased capital investment for purchasing property, plant and equipment by 12.8% over the year-ago figure to $21.1 million. Free cash flow was $119.5 million in the quarter versus $87.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
During the third quarter of 2019, the company paid out dividends totaling $12.6 million to shareholders and repurchased shares worth $94.2 million.
Notably, its board of directors authorized the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of 30 cents per share to shareholders of record as of Dec 27, 2019. The dividend will be paid out on Jan 10, 2020.
Also, the company received its board’s approval for a $250-million share buyback program on Oct 25. It noted that the new authorization replaces the earlier programs.
For 2019, the company lowered its adjusted earnings guidance to $5.45-$5.55 per share from previously stated $5.50-$5.80. The mid-point of the revised projection reflects a decline of 2.7% from the earlier mid-point. The company believes that prevailing headwinds — a slowdown in Asia, uncertainties in global trade, an industrial slowdown in the United States and excess channel inventories — will affect its performance. Cost-out activities will be advantageous.
Organic sales are predicted to decline in mid-single digits versus a low to mid-single-digit fall mentioned earlier. Interest expenses (net) are predicted to be $49 million.
Capital expenditure is predicted to be $90 million and free cash flow is likely to be more than 115% of adjusted net income (marking an increase from the previously stated figure). Adjusted effective tax rate will likely be 19.5%.
Regal Beloit Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Regal Beloit Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Regal Beloit Corporation Quote
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
With a market capitalization of approximately $3.1 billion, Regal Beloit currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Industrial Products sector are AZZ Inc AZZ, Tennant Company TNC and Brady Corporation BRC. While AZZ and Tennant currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Brady carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
In the past 60 days, earnings estimates for these companies improved for the current year. Further, positive earnings surprise for the last reported quarter was 14.08% for AZZ, 40% for Tennant and 11.48% for Brady.
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