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Why Is TopBuild (BLD) Down 30% Since Last Earnings Report?

Zacks Equity Research

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for TopBuild (BLD). Shares have lost about 30% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

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

TopBuild Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Margins High

TopBuild Corp. reported better-than-expected earnings in fourth-quarter 2019. Earnings not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also grew impressively from the prior-year quarter, backed by strong volume and pricing, as well as acquisitions.

Inside the Headlines

The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.48 per share, which surpassed the consensus estimate of $1.40 by 5.7% and grew 23.3% from the prior-year period. The uptrend was primarily backed by strong sales and operational efficiencies.

Total net sales rose 3.6% on a year-over-year basis to $662.3 million, driven by residential and commercial volume growth, and increased pricing at both the segments. Also, acquisitions contributed to the growth. However, the reported figure lagged the consensus mark of $673.3 million by 1.6%. Higher mix of multi-family and smaller single-family homes — which generate lower revenue per unit — partially offset the positives.

Segmental Performance

TruTeam’s revenues increased 4% year over year to $475.9 million. Volume accounted for 0.7% of this growth and selling price contributed 2.7%. Acquisitions added 0.6% to the growth. Adjusted operating margin in the quarter expanded 90 basis points (bps) to 13.4%.

Revenues of the Service Partners segment grew 4.3% year over year to $223.2 million, driven by 2% volume and 2.3% price increase. Adjusted operating margin also improved 120 bps from the year-ago level to 11.3%.

Operating Highlights

Adjusted gross margin expanded 120 bps year over year to 25.9%. Adjusted operating profit of $76.6 million also increased almost 14% year over year. Adjusted operating margin improved 110 bps from the year-ago period to 11.6%. Both gross and operating margin improvements were driven by higher selling prices, improved labor and sales productivity, along with synergies from USI, partially offset by higher material costs.

Adjusted EBITDA margin improved 110 bps to 14% during the quarter. Incremental adjusted EBITDA margin was 44%.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2019 were $184.8 million, up from $100.9 million at 2018-end. Net cash provided by operations was $271.8 million in 2019 compared with $167.2 million recorded in the comparable period last year.

In 2019, the company repurchased 1,291,771 shares for approximately $110.9 million.

Recently, the company acquired New York-based Hunter Insulation, and a commercial glass company Cooper Glass, which serves the Memphis market. TopBuild expects these acquisitions to contribute approximately $19 million to annual revenues.

2019 Highlights

Full-year adjusted earnings came in at $5.49 per share, surpassing the consensus estimate of $5.42 by 1.3% and improving 7.2% year over year. Net sales of $2.624 billion also increased 10.1% from a year ago.  Adjusted operating margin improved 140 bps to 11.2% and adjusted EBITDA margin grew 180 bps to 13.7%.

2020 Guidance

Backed by solid fundamentals for the residential new construction market, continued strength in the commercial business, solid backlog and greenfield expansion opportunities, TopBuild provided strong guidance for 2020.

Sales are expected within $2,765-$2,835 million. Considering the mid-point, this is in line with the consensus estimate of $2,800 million. Adjusted EBITDA is projected between $387 million and $412 million, indicating a significant increase from $359.1 million registered in 2019.

Housing starts in 2020 is likely to be within 1.30-1.34 million.

Long-Term Projections (Through 2022)

For the long term, commercial annual revenue growth is projected at about 10%. Same branch incremental adjusted EBITDA is anticipated within 22-27%. Incremental adjusted EBITDA related to acquisitions is projected in the range of 11-16%.

Residential revenues for every 50K increase in housing starts are likely to be $80 million. Normalized tax rate is expected to be 26%.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

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

VGM Scores

At this time, TopBuild has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

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


TopBuild has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.

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