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Apogee Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates, Provides Upbeat View

Apogee Enterprises, Inc. APOG posted earnings per share of 69 cents in fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended Feb 27, 2016) that surged 47% from earnings of 47 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. The improvement was driven by strong margins. Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 63 cents.

 

Operational Update

The company reported total revenues of $262 million, which increased 6% year over year. In constant currency, revenues increased 8% year over year. Revenues, however, fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $265 million.

Cost of goods sold increased 4% year over year to $193 million from $186 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit improved 13% year over year to $69 million. Gross margin also expanded 150 basis points (bps) to 26.3%. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses declined 4% year over year to $40 million. Operating income increased 47% year over year to $28.9 million. Operating margin grew 300 bps year over year to 11%.

Segment Performance

Revenues at the Architectural Glass segment increased 7% year over year to $98.6 million on U.S. volume growth and improved pricing. Operating income in the quarter shot up 169% to $12 million from $4.5 million in the prior-year quarter, aided by improved pricing and mix, strong operational performance and volume leverage.

Revenues at the Architectural Services segment rose 21% year over year to $76.8 million due to strong project activity. The segment reported an operating profit of $5.6 million, a 9% improvement from $5.2 million in the year-ago quarter on increased volume at better margins and good project execution.

The Architectural Framing Systems segment’s revenues increased 3% year over year to $79.6 million, led by U.S. volume growth and improved mix. The segment’s operating income grew 60% to $7.7 million from $4.8 million in the prior-year quarter, backed by lower raw material costs, volume leverage and execution of higher-margin window projects.

The Large-Scale Optical Technologies segment’s revenues went down 5% year over year to $21.7 million due to the timing of customer orders. Operating income in the reported quarter was $4.8 million, which dropped 19% from $5.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Fiscal 2016 Performance

Apogee reported earnings per share of $2.22 in fiscal 2016, up 29% from prior-year earnings of $1.72 and ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.17. Earnings came in on the higher end of the guidance range of $2.15–$2.25. Revenues increased 5% year over year to $981 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $984 million.

Financial Position

Apogee ended the fiscal with cash and cash equivalents of $60.5 million versus $52.2 million at the end of the prior fiscal. The company generated cash flow from operations of $124 million during fiscal 2016 compared with $68.6 million in fiscal 2015. In fiscal 2016, Apogee bought back 575,000 shares for $24.9 million.

Apogee’s backlog increased 4% year over year to $508 million at the end of fiscal 2016. Roughly 8% or $407 million of the backlog is expected to be delivered in fiscal 2017, and the balance in fiscal 2018.

Outlook for Fiscal 2017 and Beyond

Given the expected U.S. commercial construction market growth, strong backlog, commitments and bidding activity, as well as external market metrics, Apogee projects revenue growth of approximately 10% and record earnings per share between $2.65 and $2.80 for fiscal 2017.

Apogee expects to deliver at least a 12% operating margin on the back of revenues of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion in fiscal 2018 aided by its strategies to grow through new geographies, products and markets. Moreover, its robust backlog, bidding activity, and focus on better project selection, productivity and operational improvements will support results.

Apogee currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Brady Corp. BRC, John Bean Technologies Corporation JBT and ESCO Technologies Inc. ESE. All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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