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Manitowoc (MTW) Loss Narrows Y/Y in Q1, Retains 2016 View

The Manitowoc Company, Inc. MTW reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted loss of 4 cents per share, which narrowed significantly from the prior-year quarter loss of 21 cents. However, reported loss was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 3 cents.

Including special items, the company posted a loss of $1.49 per share in the reported quarter, compared to a loss of 6 cents in the year-ago quarter.

In the first quarter, Manitowoc transitioned to a stand-alone Crane business. In the quarter, the company experienced continued momentum in its Tower business, fueled by residential and non-residential construction. However, demand for mobile cranes remained soft.

Operational Update

Total revenue was $427.4 million in the reported quarter, up 5% year over year, primarily due to continued strength in towers as a result of improving residential and commercial construction trends, as well as new product introductions. Revenues also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $370 million.

Cost of sales rose 4.3% to $345.5 million from $331 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit increased 8.6% year over year to $81.9 million. Also, gross margin expanded 50 basis points (bps) to 19%.

Engineering, selling and administrative expenses decreased 12.4% year over year to $72.4 million. Adjusted operating income was $9.5 million, as against a loss of $7.3 million in the year-ago quarter.


Backlog was $502 million as of Mar 31, 2016, down from $513 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. First-quarter 2016 orders of $417 million decreased from $424 million in the preceding quarter. This represents a book-to-bill of 1.0.

Restructuring Activities

In line with its four-phase growth plan, Manitowoc undertook actions to balance capacity with demand in its North American operations during the first quarter. As a result, the company incurred approximately $4 million of restructuring expense primarily related to workforce reductions at facilities in the U.S.

It expects to recognize cash outflows in settlement of these expenses by the end of the year. The total savings as a result of these actions will be around $20 million to be realized in 2016. Additionally, there are reductions in expenses that have been excluded from these restructuring activities, but will positively impact sales, general and administrative expenses, going forward. These additional reductions in cost are approximately $18 million for the full year.

As a result of the spin-off of the Foodservice business completed in the first quarter, the company recorded a valuation allowance against domestic deferred tax assets of approximately $121 million as a non-cash tax charge.

Financial Updates

Manitowoc ended the quarter with cash and temporary investments of $87 million, up from $31.5 million as of year-end 2015. Long-term debt was $269.3 million as of Mar 31, 2016, compared with $1,326.6 million as of Dec 31, 2015. Cash flow used in operations was $210 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to cash usage of $135.7 million in the prior-year quarter.

2016 Guidance

Manitowoc reaffirmed its full-year 2016 outlook. The company expects revenues to remain flat and operating margins of around 4%. Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of approximately $45–$50 million for the year.

Manitowoc will focus on four key elements. First, it will utilize Lean expertise to increase the flexibility of manufacturing footprint globally. Secondly, the company will reinvigorate the development process to introduce new products and services that deliver enhanced productivity to generate greater return on investment for customers.

The company will also focus on gaining market share as a result of an improved competitive position. Finally, it will take advantage of its strong balance sheet to allocate capital to the most accretive options available at that time. These four actions will support its long-term stated goal of achieving double-digit margins.

Zacks Rank

Manitowoc currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the sector worth considering include Astec Industries, Inc. ASTE, H&E Equipment Services Inc. HEES and Avery Dennison Corporation AVY. All three stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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