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Allegheny (ATI) Q1 Loss Lower Than Expected, Sales Miss

Allegheny Technologies Inc. ATI reported adjusted an loss of 58 cents per share in first-quarter 2016. The loss was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 59 cents.

The results exclude restructuring and transformation charges of $9 million related to the elimination of 250 workers, pre-tax $26 million of costs associated with work stoppage and return of USW-represented employees in March, and $12 million of tax benefits.

Including these one-time items, the company reported a net loss (attributable to Allegheny) of $101 million or 94 cents per share for the quarter as against a profit of $10 million or 9 cents a share a year ago. Results were affected by lower efficiency in operations due to work stoppage and the return to work of USW-represented workers. However, the re-negotiation of the labor contracts will lead to a lower retirement benefit expense of $8 million for the rest of the year.

Revenues for the first quarter fell 33% year over year to $758 million and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $760 million. The fall this quarter was primarily due to lower shipments as well as lower average selling price across all products. However, sales rose around 3% from the sequentially preceding quarter.

 

 

Segment Review

Revenues from the High Performance Metals and Components segment fell 9% year over year to $493 million in the first quarter because of lower shipments as well as lower selling price. Operating profit declined 60% year over year to $29.1 million. The segment remains affected by lower operating rates owing to weak demand in the oil & gas/chemical and hydrocarbon processing industry, along with low operating rates at the company’s Rowley, UT sponge facility. The segment also faced a one-time charge of $5.3 million due to work stoppage.

The Flat Rolled Products’ segment sales plunged 55% to $264.5 million from the prior-year quarter, hurt by lower shipments as well as lower average selling price of all products. Shipments of high-value products fell 34% year over year while those of standard stainless products plummeted 601%. Average selling prices also decreased 16% for high-value products and 24% for standard stainless products. The segment saw additional losses due to idling of two facilities producing stainless steel and GOES products.

Segment operating loss was $109.6 million compared with an operating loss of $6.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The segment’s losses widened partly due to $21.1 million of expenses related to work stoppage.

Financial Position

Allegheny’s cash in hand as of Mar 31, 2016 was $157 million, down 34% year over year. Long-term debt declined roughly 1% year over year to $1,492.7 million.

Cash flow used by operations for first-quarter 2016 was $61.5 million. Total debt to total capitalization was 45.4% at the end of the quarter, up from 37% a year ago.

Outlook

As expected by Allegheny, its High Performance Materials & Components (“HPMC”) segment has started benefiting from the growth phase of the aerospace sector. The company expects the segment’s operating profit as a percentage of sales to reach double digits in second-half 2016.

Allegheny anticipates the ongoing rightsizing and restructuring activities to impact the Flat Rolled Products (“FRP”) segment in the second quarter of the year as well. The segment continues to be affected by low material prices, uncertain market demand and global overcapacity. However, the company expects the shipments of products benefiting from HRPF capabilities to increase during the next few quarters. The segment is expected to be profitable from the second quarter and realize $30 million in annual savings from workforce cuts from the third quarter.

Allegheny will also continue with its focus on cash generation from operations for 2016 and thereafter. The company plans to use a portion of the asset-backed credit facility this year to finance the restructuring activities of the FRP segment.

Zacks Rank

Allegheny currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials sector include Valmont Industries Inc. VMI, AK Steel Holding Corporation AKS and Mueller Water Products Inc. MWA, all currently holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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