Stanley Black & Decker Inc. SWK has reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2019. This came in after it recorded in-line results in the previous quarter. The company beat earnings estimates by 19.3%. Further, sales beat estimates by 0.9%.
Earnings, excluding acquisition-related charges and other one-time impacts, were $1.42 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19. Also, earnings increased 2.2% from the year-ago figure of $1.39 per share, driven by healthy sales performance, solid operational performance (negated the impact of $160 million or 90 cents per share of external headwinds), tax benefits and lower share count.
Tools & Storage and Industrial Segments Drive Revenues
In the quarter under review, the company’s net sales were $3,333.6 million, reflecting 3.9% growth over the year-ago quarter. This improvement was primarily driven by 3% rise in volume, 2% positive-price impact and 3% gain from acquired assets. These were partially offset by 4% adverse impact of unfavorable movements in foreign currencies.
Also, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,310 million.
Stanley Black reports revenues under three market segments. A brief discussion of the quarterly results is provided below:
Tools & Storage’s revenues totaled $2,292.3 million, representing 68.8% of net revenues in the quarter under review. On a year-over-year basis, the segment’s revenues grew 3.5% on the back of 5% gain from volume growth and 2% from favorable pricing, partially offset by 4% adverse impact of currency movements.
The Industrial segment generated revenues of $555 million, accounting for roughly 16.6% of net revenues in the reported quarter. Sales grew 10.1% year over year, primarily driven by 16% gain from buyouts of Nelson and IES Attachments, partially offset by 3% negative impact of foreign currency woes and 3% from volume decline.
Revenues from the Security segment, representing roughly 14.6% of net revenues, decreased 0.6% year over year to $486.3 million. Gain of 2% from acquisitions (commercial electronic security) and 1% favorable impact of pricing actions were more than offset by 4% adverse impact of foreign currency woes.
Commodity Inflation, Forex Woes & Tariffs Hurt Margins
In the reported quarter, Stanley Black’s cost of sales increased 8.8% year over year to $2,221.6 million. It represented 66.6% of the quarter’s net sales versus 63.6% in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin slipped 300 basis points (bps) to 33.4% as commodity inflation, adverse currency impact and tariffs negated positive impacts of volume growth, favorable pricing and improved productivity.
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 1.7% year over year to $755.9 million. It represented 22.7% of net sales in the reported quarter versus 24% in the year-ago quarter. Operating profits declined 10.6% year over year to $356.1 million, with a year-over-year decline of 170 bps in the margin to 10.7%.
Adjusted tax rate in the reported quarter was 15%, down from 23% in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet & Cash Flow
Exiting the first quarter of 2019, Stanley Black had cash and cash equivalents of $281.8 million, down 2.4% from $288.7 million recorded in the last reported quarter. Long-term debt (net of current portions) was up 2.3% sequentially to $3,909.4 million.
In the first quarter, the company used cash of $431.3 million for operating activities, higher compared with $349.4 million used in the year-ago quarter. Capital spending totaled $89.6 million versus $106.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Free cash outflow in the quarter was $520.9 million, higher than $455.7 in the year-ago quarter.
During the reported quarter, the company paid cash dividends of approximately $97.6 million.
In the quarters ahead, Stanley Black anticipates gaining from a growing recognition for its brands — Craftsman, Lenox, Irwin and DeWalt FlexVolt. Further, business expansion in emerging markets, innovation and favorable e-commerce trends will be beneficial.
Further, the company anticipates gaining from pricing actions and $250-million cost-reduction initiatives. It noted that it intends on starting multi-year initiatives aimed at margin expansion. Also, transformational activities as well as efforts to develop electronic security solutions and focus on building commercial resources will be beneficial.
For 2019, the company increased adjusted earnings projection from $8.45-$8.65 to $8.50-$8.70 per share. The revised guidance reflects year-over-year growth of 4-7%. Organic growth will be approximately 4%.
The impact of the IES Attachments buyout and divestiture of Sargent & Greenleaf are predicted to be neutral on earnings. Also, external headwinds will have an adverse impact of $340 million (forex woes are predicted to have an incremental adverse impact of $20 million).
Free cash flow conversion is predicted to be roughly 85-90%.
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Quote
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
With a market capitalization of $22 billion, Stanley Black currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Industrial Products sector are DXP Enterprises, Inc. DXPE, Sun Hydraulics Corporation SNHY and Roper Technologies, Inc. ROP. All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
In the past 60 days, earnings estimates for all the three stocks have improved for the current year. Further, average earnings surprise for the last four quarters was positive 46.55% for DXP Enterprises, 2.27% for Sun Hydraulics and 4.96% for Roper.
Will you retire a millionaire?
One out of every six people retires a multimillionaire. Get smart tips you can do today to become one of them in a new Special Report, “7 Things You Can Do Now to Retire a Multimillionaire.”
Click to get it free >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Roper Technologies, Inc. (ROP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (SWK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Sun Hydraulics Corporation (SNHY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
DXP Enterprises, Inc. (DXPE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.