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Hubbell (HUBB) Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates in Q1

Hubbell Inc. HUBB reported first quarter earnings of $1.16 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.06. Revenues of $834.8 million also came ahead of the consensus mark of $794.4 million.

A quick look at the earnings in detail:

Total Revenue

Hubbell’s quarterly revenues improved 0.6% sequentially and 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. The improvement was due to an increase in organic sales and contribution from acquisitions.

Hubbell has two operating segments—Electrical and Power Systems, which generated 69% and 30% of revenues, respectively in the quarter.

Revenues by Segment

Power segment net sales were up 5.0% to $252.1 million compared with $240 million reported in the first quarter of 2015. Higher sales volume and favorable material costs and price drove this increase.

Foreign currency translation had a negative impact of 2% while acquisitions added 3% to sales in the quarter.

Electrical segment net sales increased 2.3% to $582.7 million from $569.7 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

Acquisitions added 2% to net sales in the quarter, while the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation reduced it by 1%.

Higher shipments in construction related business caused organic sales to increase 3%, which was partially offset by a decline in oil and core industrial markets.

Operating Performance

Hubbell’s gross margin for the quarter was 31.4%, down 117 basis points (bps) sequentially and 18 bps from the year-ago quarter. Hubbell’s operating margin was 13.0%, down 129 bps sequentially and 50 bps from the year-ago quarter.

Operating Margin by Segment

Operating margin in the Power segment was 18.6%, an increase of 80 bps from the year-ago quarter’s 17.8% of net sales. The increase in margins was due to higher volumes, stronger prices and favorable material costs.

The Electrical segment recorded an operating margin of 10.6% compared with 11.7% in the year-ago quarter, a decrease by 110 bps. This decrease in operating margin was mainly due to unfavorable mix and FX headwinds.

Net Income

Net income attributable to Hubbell shareholders (excluding restructuring charges on a tax-adjusted basis, non-controlling interest and earnings allocated to participating securities) was $65.2 million compared with $77.4 million in the previous quarter and $84.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Pro forma earnings per share increased 3 cents from the year-ago quarter to $1.16.

Balance Sheet

Cash and short-term investments balance at quarter-end was $332.7 million compared with $355.7 million in the previous quarter. Long-term debt was $989.5 million compared with $595.9 million in the previous quarter.

Dividend & Share Repurchases

In the quarter, the company repurchased $201.8 million worth of common stock. Adding repurchases completed in April, the target to repurchase $250 million common stock has already been achieved.

Outlook

The company is expecting better earnings in 2016 with earnings per share of $5.20 to $5.40 including 35 cents of restructuring cost. The company also expects that its cost reduction efforts will lead to an incremental savings of 30 cents in 2016.

Our Take

Hubbell reported encouraging first quarter 2016 results with revenues and earnings outperforming our estimates.

Organic growth and acquisitions were the main drivers of top line performance. The company recorded double-digit growth in lighting products driven by strong growth in construction related markets. Oil and core industrial products remain weak. The power segment also grew strongly driven by growth in telecommunications products.

Hubbell continues with its restructuring and related initiatives and is seeing increased savings out of them. The company has also invested in target channels so as to add engineering and sales capacities.

Hubbell’s acquisition strategy was its top priority this quarter. The company acquired Electric Motion Company, Inc., a provider of engineering solutions to the communications industry and R.W. Lyall & Company, Inc., a manufacturer of products for the natural gas distribution market. 

Currently, Hubbell has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Better-ranked stocks in the wider technology sector are Travelport Worldwide Ltd. TVPT, Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT and Align Technology Inc. ALGN, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

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