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Newell Brands (NWL) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Guides for 2016

Newell Rubbermaid Inc., known as Newell Brands Inc. NWL since its merger with Jarden Corp., reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 36 cents and increasing 11.1% year over year. The improvement was driven by core sales growth in all five segments, operating margin expansion and lower shares outstanding. However, negative currency movements, higher advertising and promotion expenses, and lack of income from Venezuelan operations limited the upside.
 

On a reported basis, including one-time items, the company recorded earnings of 15 cents per share, down 25% from the prior-year earnings of 20 cents.

Net sales grew 4% to $1,314.9 million in the quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,283 million. Core sales climbed 5.6%. The increase is attributed to the gain of 240 basis points (bps) from acquisitions and divestitures, offset by the negative impact of 230 bps from foreign currency translation and a 170 bps impact of the deconsolidation of Venezuelan operations as of Dec 31, 2015.

Segmental Performance
 
Writing net sales improved 10.8% year over year to $378.8 million, while core sales increased 8.8%. Net sales in the Tools segment declined 0.4% to $179.7 million, whereas core sales grew 4%. Commercial Products net sales decreased 5.8% to $174.5 million, while core sales rose 0.9%. Sales for the Home Solutions segment rose 2.1% to $372.1 million, but core sales jumped 3.6%. Net sales for the Baby & Parenting segment soared 9.2% to $209.8 million, while core sales grew 9.3%.

Margins

Newell’s normalized gross margin contracted 20 bps to 38.6% on the back of improved productivity, pricing and lower input costs, partially offset by negative foreign currency translations, deconsolidation of Venezuelan operations and acquisitions.

Normalized operating income increased roughly 12.6% to $171.8 million. Normalized operating income margin expanded 100 bps to 13.1%.

Other Financial Details

Newell ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $8,180.9 million, long-term debt of $10,619.1 million, and shareholders’ equity of $1,778.7 million. In the first quarter, the company used operating cash flow of $270.9 million.

Outlook

Following a strong quarter, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company provided its core sales and adjusted earnings guidance for 2016.

Newell expects core sales growth of 3–4% for 2016. This guidance assumes standalone Newell Rubbermaid core sales growth of 4–5% and Jarden core sales growth of 2–4%, including the negative impact from planned product line exits. Jarden’s core sales growth target for 2016 is in line with the company’s long-term organic growth guidance of 3–5%.

Over the next two to three years, Newell Brands plans to exit product lines with annual sales in the range of $250–$300 million across both businesses.

Normalized earnings per share are expected in the range of $2.75–$2.90 for 2016. Additionally, the company anticipates shares outstanding of nearly 430 million and an effective tax rate of 29–30%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other well-ranked stocks in the same industry are Tupperware Brands Corporation TUP, with a Zacks Rank #1, and Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. OLLI and Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. BUFF, each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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NEWELL BRANDS (NWL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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