Net sales grew 3.4 percent to $1.14 billion in the fiscal 2019 third quarter from $1.10 billion in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. Net income was $14.2 million versus $40.2 million in the year-ago period, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.11 compared to $0.30 in the year-ago quarter, which was an unusually strong quarter. Income before income taxes (IBT) was $4.5 million compared to $34.7 million reported in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. RPM’s consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were $26.3 million compared to $56.7 million reported in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. The fiscal 2019 third quarter also included restructuring expenses of $8.7 million and other related expenses of $11.9 million. Excluding these charges, RPM’s adjusted EBIT was $46.9 million and adjusted diluted EPS was $0.14 versus $0.21 last year.
“Our top-line sales growth was solid during the third quarter, which is seasonally our slowest due to winter weather conditions across many of the countries we serve. Organic growth was 4.3 percent and acquisitions contributed 2.1 percent, while foreign exchange was a significant headwind that reduced sales by three percent. Price increases helped to offset higher raw material costs, which have risen for seven straight quarters, as well as higher costs for freight, labor and energy. International markets remained challenged and resulted in reduced operating earnings from most geographies around the world,” said Frank C. Sullivan, RPM chairman and CEO.
“Fiscal 2018 third-quarter SG&A was favorably impacted by an incentive reversal of $3.4 million. Fiscal 2019 third-quarter SG&A as a percentage of sales was higher due to increased advertising and distribution costs.
“Our current-quarter EBIT finished behind an extraordinary result from last year, when EBIT was up 52.6 percent over the prior year. Our current-quarter adjusted EBIT of $46.9 million was well ahead of our average third-quarter EBIT of $37.8 million during the three-year period from fiscal 2015 through 2017.
“We are pleased that we are starting to experience some benefits from our MAP to Growth operating improvement plan and expect that, due to FIFO (first-in, first-out) accounting, its results will start to show up on our income statement in the coming quarters,” said Sullivan.
Third-Quarter Segment Sales and Earnings
During the fiscal 2019 third quarter, industrial segment sales increased 2.1 percent to $580.9 million from $569.2 million in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. Organic sales improved 4.8 percent, while acquisitions added 1.3 percent. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 4.0 percent. IBT was $11.4 million compared to year-ago IBT of $17.8 million. Industrial segment EBIT for the quarter was $13.9 million compared to last year’s EBIT of $20.3 million, which was an extraordinary quarter in which industrial segment EBIT was up 38.8 percent over the prior year. Excluding restructuring-related charges of $5.6 million, fiscal 2019 third-quarter industrial segment EBIT was $19.5 million.
“Leading the industrial segment’s top-line growth were our North American businesses providing corrosion control coatings, fiberglass grating, commercial sealants and concrete admixture and repair products. Businesses in this segment also continued to benefit from the energy market recovery. This was partially offset by foreign exchange and international weakness in the segment, which has our greatest international exposure,” said Sullivan.
Sales in RPM’s consumer segment increased six percent to $385 million from $363.4 million in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. Organic sales improved 5.3 percent, while acquisitions added 2.7 percent. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 2.0 percent. IBT was $23.2 million versus year-ago IBT of $29.1 million. Consumer segment EBIT was $23.3 million versus $29.3 million in the fiscal 2018 third quarter. Excluding $3.8 million of restructuring-related charges, fiscal 2019 third-quarter consumer segment EBIT was $27.1 million.
“In our consumer segment, we recently gained shelf space from our competitors in the small project paints category, thereby continuing the favorable trend of market share gains that we have made at major retailers since last spring. Earnings would have been ahead of the prior year except for higher distribution and advertising expenses,” said Sullivan.
Third-quarter sales in the company’s specialty segment increased 2.7 percent to $174.7 million from $170.1 million a year ago. Organic sales increased 0.6 percent and acquisitions added 3.4 percent. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 1.3 percent. IBT was $17.1 million versus year-ago IBT of $22.8 million. Specialty segment EBIT was $17.0 million compared to $22.7 million a year ago. Excluding $1.7 million of restructuring-related charges, specialty segment EBIT for the fiscal 2019 third-quarter was $18.8 million.
“Specialty segment sales growth was driven by the acquisition of concrete forms manufacturer Nudura. The primary contributors to organic growth were our businesses providing fluorescent colorants, marine coatings and exterior cladding systems. Sales at our restoration equipment business were behind the prior year, which was extraordinarily strong due to a large sales backlog that resulted from Hurricane Harvey. Specialty segment EBIT decreased for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 versus the strong results in fiscal 2018 when EBIT was up 52.6 percent versus the prior year. Substantially all of this decline in EBIT was due to start-up investments for our NewBrick exterior cladding product and an operating loss at Nudura, which has pronounced seasonality, as was expected in the third quarter,” said Sullivan.
MAP to Growth Plan on Target
“We have moved rapidly on executing our MAP to Growth operating improvement plan and are on target. We are making excellent progress toward achieving our cost savings objectives from our first wave, which will conclude at the end of this fiscal year. Since the initiation of the plan, we have closed, or are in the process of closing, 12 manufacturing plants and have announced the reduction of 502 positions. We have also taken great strides to upgrade our manufacturing processes, optimize assets, reduce inventory and improve our supply chain. In addition, as of today, we have effectively repurchased approximately $400 million of our common stock, half of which was accomplished through the redemption of our convertible bond. The share repurchases support our MAP to Growth objective to return $1.5 billion in capital to our stockholders by May 31, 2021. Based on the success of the MAP to Growth thus far, we expect to meet the long-term objectives that we laid out at our Nov. 28, 2018 investor day,” said Sullivan.
For the nine-month period ended Feb. 28, 2019, net sales grew 5.3 percent to $3.96 billion from $3.76 billion a year ago. Year-to-date results include the impact of charges of $89.6 million primarily for acquisitions, convertible debt extinguishment and restructuring related to the MAP to Growth operating improvement plan. Investment losses were $2.9 million as a result of a new accounting standard, which now requires RPM to record unrealized gains and losses on equity securities in earnings rather than as a component of equity. During the fiscal 2018 year-ago period, the company recorded a favorable discrete tax adjustment of $18 million related to the implementation of a foreign legal entity realignment and corresponding planning strategy and $12.4 million related to discrete tax adjustments due to U.S. income tax reform. Net income was $133.2 million compared to $252.1 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share were $1.00 compared to $1.87 during the first nine months of fiscal 2018. IBT was $163.0 million versus year-ago IBT of $299.2 million. Consolidated EBIT was $236.9 million compared to year-ago EBIT of $366.1 million. Excluding restructuring and other charges, RPM’s fiscal 2019 nine-month adjusted EBIT was $326.6 million and adjusted diluted EPS was $1.44 versus $1.64 last year.
Nine-Month Segment Sales and Earnings
Sales for RPM’s industrial segment increased 3.9 percent to $2.08 billion from $2 billion during the fiscal 2018 first nine months. Organic sales increased five percent, while acquisitions added 1.5 percent. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 2.6 percent. IBT was $134.8 million versus year-ago IBT of $174.4 million. Industrial segment EBIT was $142.2 million versus industrial segment EBIT of $182.0 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2018. Excluding restructuring-related expenses of $42 million during the nine-month period, adjusted industrial segment EBIT was $184.2 million, an increase of 1.2 percent over the same period last fiscal year.
In the consumer segment, nine-month sales were up eight percent to $1.30 billion from $1.21 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2018. Organic sales improved seven percent, while acquisitions added 2.4 percent. Foreign currency reduced sales by 1.4 percent. IBT was $115.7 million, compared to year-ago IBT of $146.6 million. Consumer segment EBIT was $116.1 million compared to $147.1 million during the first nine months a year ago. Excluding restructuring-related expenses of $6.8 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2019, adjusted consumer segment EBIT was $122.9 million.
Specialty segment sales increased 4.3 percent to $579.6 million from $555.7 million in the first nine months a year ago. Organic sales increased 1.7 percent and acquisitions added 3.3 percent. Foreign currency translation reduced sales by 0.7 percent. IBT was $74.9 million versus year-ago IBT of $90.4 million. Specialty segment EBIT was $74.6 million versus $90.1 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding $8.9 million of restructuring-related expenses and acquisition-related costs during the fiscal 2019 nine-month period, adjusted specialty segment EBIT was $83.5 million.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2019, cash from operations was $145.5 million, compared to $140.7 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2018. Capital expenditures during the current nine-month period of $84.5 million compared to $72.8 million over the same time in fiscal 2018. Total debt at the end of the first nine months of fiscal 2019 was $2.52 billion compared to $2.18 billion a year ago and $2.17 billion at the end of fiscal 2018. RPM’s net (of cash) debt-to-total capitalization ratio was 61.8 percent compared to 54.0 percent at Feb. 28, 2018, and 54.2 percent at May 31, 2018. At Feb. 28, 2019, RPM’s total liquidity, including cash and long-term committed available credit, was $1.2 billion. On Feb. 27, 2019, the company issued $350 million in bonds and used the proceeds to pay down a portion of outstanding borrowings on its revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
“Looking ahead, our outlook for the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter is positive. In the fourth quarter, which is seasonally our strongest, we expect to generate low-single-digit consolidated sales growth and double-digit adjusted EBIT growth as a result of recently implemented price increases taking hold, our MAP to Growth savings being realized and moderating raw material costs,” said Sullivan.
“In the fourth quarter, we expect sales growth in our industrial segment to be flat to slightly down as the segment will be impacted by tough comparisons to last fiscal year and its exposure to weakening international markets and unfavorable foreign exchange. This should be offset by savings from our MAP to Growth operating improvement plan and moderating raw material costs. For our consumer segment, we anticipate high-single-digit sales growth because of market share gains, easier comparisons to last fiscal year and the beginning of margin recovery. In the specialty segment, which comprises about 15 percent of consolidated sales, sales growth should be modest,” Sullivan said.
“Based on our expectations for solid top-line sales growth and double-digit adjusted EBIT growth, our fiscal 2019 fourth-quarter adjusted earnings guidance is a range of $1.12 to $1.16 per diluted share, which includes accretion of $0.03 to $0.04 per share as a result of share repurchases completed this year, versus the adjusted $1.05 during last year’s fourth quarter,” said Sullivan.