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Regal Beloit (RBC) Misses Q1 Earnings on Lower Revenues

Industrial goods manufacturer Regal Beloit Corporation RBC reported lackluster first-quarter 2016 results with a significant year-over-year decline in net sales and adjusted earnings owing to macroeconomic woes. Adjusted earnings for first-quarter 2016 were 95 cents per share compared with $1.21 in the year-ago quarter and well behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.09.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net income of $41.6 million or 93 cents per share compared with $36.4 million or 81 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The year-over-year improvement in GAAP earnings, despite lower revenues, was largely driven by lower operating costs.

Net sales fell to $818.2 million from $911.7 million in the year-earlier quarter owing to adverse foreign currency translation, soft oil & gas markets and a depressed Chinese economy. The quarterly revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $855 million.

Lower volumes dragged adjusted operating profit for the reported quarter to $70.7 million from $89.0 million in the prior-year period, leading to the respective operating margins of 8.6% and 9.8%.

Segment Analysis

Revenues from the Power Transmission segment continued to impress, increasing 15% year over year to $201 million, driven by inorganic growth. However, the sales were negatively impacted by headwinds in the oil & gas and agricultural markets, and negative foreign currency translation effect.

Net sales in the Commercial and Industrial System segment were $378 million, down 17% year over year. The decline in segment revenue was driven by sluggishness in the oil & gas sector, a slowdown in the industrial markets in China, and a negative foreign currency translation effect of 1.9%.

Net sales from the Climate Solutions segment was $240 million, down 14% year over year due to a downturn in the Middle East HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) market, lower demand in the residential North American HVAC and water heating markets, and a negative 1.0% foreign currency translation effect.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

At quarter end, Regal Beloit’s cash and cash equivalents were $249.1 million, while long-term debt was $1,699.3 million.

Net cash from operating activities during the quarter aggregated $58.2 million, up from $17.5 million in the year-ago period. Free cash flow was 104% of net income and the company paid off $17 million of debt during the reported quarter.

Guidance Revised

Regal Beloit’s first-quarter results were severely impacted by the fragilities in the oil & gas sector and the overall industrial end markets. The company expects its sales to be affected by the continued weakness in industrial markets. Consequently, the company revised its guidance for full-year 2016 and currently anticipates adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.40 to $4.80, significantly down from the earlier projection of $4.80 to $5.20. However, Regal Beloit continues to focus on its simplification initiatives to lower operating costs and improve its margins in the future.

Regal Beloit currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some stocks that look promising in the industry include Eaton Corporation plc ETN, ESCO Technologies Inc. ESE and Franklin Electric Co., Inc. FELE, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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