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TriMas (TRS) Tops Q1 Earnings & Sales, Keeps 2016 View

Shares of TriMas Corporation TRS gained 3.7% and closed at $18.10 on Friday, a day after the company reported upbeat results for the first quarter of 2016. The company posted adjusted earnings of 27 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Earnings, however, fell 13% year over year.

On a reported basis, including special items, TriMas’ earnings declined to 18 cents per share in the reported quarter from 26 cents in the prior-year quarter.

TriMas posted revenues of $202.9 million in the reported quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $202.5 million. Revenues, however, declined 9.5% year over year.

TriMas faced headwinds related to the impact of lower oil prices and significantly reduced oil production activity, slower industrial markets and unfavorable currency exchange. The company also experienced some short-term production and integration costs, and inefficiencies in Aerospace that impacted both sales and profitability.

Cost and Margins

Cost of sales decreased to $147 million in the reported quarter from $161 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit fell 11% year over year to $55.9 million. Gross margin contracted 40 basis points (bps) to 27.6%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped 1.1% year over year to $39.5 million. Adjusted operating profit declined 14% to $21.8 million from $25.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Segment Performance

Packaging: Net sales improved 1.5% year over year to $80.1 million, driven by increased sales in the industrial, food and beverage, and health, beauty and home care end markets. Adjusted operating profit went up 3.7% to $18.3 million, led by higher sales levels and the impact of ongoing productivity and automation initiatives.

Energy: Net sales decreased 12.5% year over year to $44.8 million, primarily due to reduced demand levels from upstream oil and gas customers related to lower oil production activity, lower sales from international branches due to restructuring activities in those regions, and the impact of unfavorable currency exchange. The segment reported adjusted operating profit of $1.1 million compared to $1.8 million in the year-ago quarter, negatively impacted by reduced sales levels and related lower fixed cost absorption.

Aerospace: Net sales declined 11.5% to $40.5 million from $45.7 million in the prior-year quarter as a result of lower demand from larger distribution customers, as well as lower sales to OE customers due to manufacturing constraints. The segment reported adjusted operating profit of $3.5 million, a plunge of 60% from $8.9 million in the year-earlier quarter. Lower sales levels and related operating leverage, a less favorable product mix, and production and machined components acquisition integration costs, and inefficiencies led to the decline.

Engineered Components: The segment reported revenues of $37.5 million, down from $48.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Lower sales of engines and compressors due to soft oil prices, as well as markedly weak oil production activity led to the year-over-year decline. Adjusted operating profit fell 5.3% to $5.7 million as a result of lower sales and lower fixed cost absorption related to engine and compression products.

Financial Performance

TriMas had cash and cash equivalents of $25.4 million at the end of first-quarter 2016 compared with $19.5 million as of 2015 end. The company used $3.3 million of cash in operating activities in the reported quarter compared with cash inflow of $3.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

As of quarter end, TriMas’ total debt decreased to $437.9 million from $663.8 million as of Mar 31, 2015. The reduction in total debt from the year-ago period was the result of the company using the cash distribution from Horizon Global in conjunction with the spin-off of the Cequent businesses to reduce the outstanding borrowings.

TriMas continued to execute on its $22 million Financial Improvement Plan, completing the majority of the remaining cost actions by quarter end.

The company also announced the appointment of Marc Roberts, an experienced leader with a track record of driving growth and profitability across global businesses, as president of the Energy segment.

2016 Guidance

TriMas maintained its full-year 2016 outlook. The company expects earnings per share in the range of $1.35–$1.45, representing EPS growth of approximately 8.5% compared to 2015. TriMas estimates that 2016 sales will be relatively flat, ranging between a decline of 2% to an increase of 2%, as compared to 2015. It also expects 2016 free cash flow to be between $60 million and $70 million.

The company remains focused on increasing its margins, particularly in Aerospace and Energy businesses, and expects demonstrable improvements over the remainder of the year. By the end of the second quarter, TriMas will have lapped the majority of the year-over-year impact of two significant external headwinds, lower oil prices and aerospace distributor planned inventory reductions. Moreover, TriMas will be able to drive its financial performance regardless of market instability and business conditions.

Further, TriMas continues to develop specialty dispensing and closure applications for growing global markets, including industrial, food and beverage, and health, beauty and home care markets. The company continues to restructure its energy business to improve cost structure, including consolidating certain facilities, starting up a lower cost manufacturing facility in Reynosa, Mexico, and adding experienced resources to the leadership team. The restructuring will drive manufacturing and operational improvements, and increase the sales of its higher-margin, specialty products.

The company will also focus on increasing manufacturing efficiencies and throughput to improve margins, integrating the recent acquisition, leveraging its aerospace platform to better serve customers, and developing and qualifying additional highly-engineered products for aerospace applications.

Zacks Rank

At present, TriMas holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other well-ranked stocks from the same sector are Century Aluminum Co. CENX, Global Brass and Copper Holdings, Inc. BRSS and SKF AB SKFRY. All these stocks hold the same Zacks Rank as TriMas.

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