RPM International Inc. reported financial results for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended Feb. 28, 2021.

 

“In mid-February, severe winter storm Uri disrupted North American transportation, distribution and supply chains. With concern about the potential impact of transportation gridlock and lost shipping days as we closed out the quarter and the desire to maintain transparent communication with our investors, we lowered our third-quarter guidance on Feb. 18,” RPM Chairman and CEO Frank C. Sullivan said. “The third quarter is our seasonally low quarter and historically generates only 5% to 10% of our annual earnings, so the magnitude of relatively small variations in earnings becomes magnified. Fortunately, due to the extraordinary efforts of our associates who were able to catch up and execute delivery of customer orders, as well as the fact that plants, distribution centers and transportation networks resumed operation more quickly than anticipated, we exceeded our original third-quarter sales and earnings guidance.”

 

Third-Quarter Consolidated Results

 Fiscal 2021 third-quarter net sales were $1.27 billion, an increase of 8.1% over the $1.17 billion reported a year ago. Third-quarter net income increased 222.6% to $38.2 million compared to $11.9 million reported in the year-ago period, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.29, an increase of 222.2% compared to $0.09 in the year-ago quarter. Income before income taxes (IBT) was $55.9 million compared to $16.3 million reported in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. RPM’s consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were up 48.2% to $65.4 million compared to $44.1 million reported in the fiscal 2020 third quarter.

 

Third-quarter EBIT included restructuring and other items that are not indicative of ongoing operations of $14.5 million during fiscal 2021 and $16.3 million in fiscal 2020. Excluding these items, RPM’s adjusted EBIT was up 32.2% to $79.9 million compared to $60.5 million during the year-ago period. Also, the company has continued to exclude the impact of all gains and losses from marketable securities from adjusted EPS, as their inherent volatility is outside of management’s control and cannot be predicted with any level of certainty. These investments resulted in a net after-tax gain of $5.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 and a net after-tax loss of $4.9 million during the same quarter last year. Finally, RPM recorded a $5.3 million discrete tax adjustment during the third quarter to increase our deferred tax liability for withholding taxes on additional unremitted foreign earnings not considered permanently reinvested. Excluding the restructuring and other items, as well as investment gains/losses and the discrete tax adjustment, fiscal 2021 third-quarter adjusted diluted EPS increased 65.2% to $0.38 compared to $0.23 in the fiscal 2020 third quarter.

 

“Similar to last quarter, three of our four operating segments generated solid sales growth and significant EBIT growth due to MAP to Growth benefits being leveraged to the bottom line,” Sullivan said. “This was particularly impressive given a difficult comparison to last year’s third quarter when adjusted EBIT increased 30.4%. Organic sales grew 4.9% during the quarter and acquisitions contributed 2.1%. Foreign currency translation added 1.1% as a result of the weaker U.S. dollar. Our year-to-date cash flow from operations improved by $270.7 million over last fiscal year as a result of continued better working capital management and margin improvement from our MAP to Growth program.”

 

Third-Quarter Segment Sales and Earnings

 Construction Products Group net sales increased 6.4% to $396 million during the fiscal 2021 third quarter, compared to fiscal 2020 third-quarter net sales of $372.1 million, reflecting organic growth of 5.4%. Favorable foreign currency translation increased sales by 1%. Segment IBT was $14.4 million compared with a loss of $0.5 million a year ago. EBIT was $16.5 million, up 899.1% compared to EBIT of $1.7 million in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. The segment incurred restructuring-related expenses of $2 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2021 and $4.4 million during the same period of fiscal 2020. Excluding these charges, fiscal 2021 adjusted EBIT increased 206.4% to $18.5 million compared to adjusted EBIT of $6 million reported during the year-ago period.

 

“Our Construction Products Group continued to focus on renovation and restoration projects, leading to solid sales growth during the quarter, despite softness in the commercial and institutional construction markets, which it leveraged to the bottom line. Our roofing business performed well, as did our Nudura insulated concrete forms, which are seeing accelerated long-term adoption as a wall system due to their environmental and structural benefits relative to traditional building methods. Overall, the group was able to generate 310 basis points of adjusted EBIT margin growth as a result of MAP to Growth savings and the favorable leverage of sales volume increases. The segment’s European businesses continue to improve due to ongoing restructuring and better product mix,” said Sullivan.

 

Performance Coatings Group net sales were $226.5 million during the fiscal 2021 third quarter, a decrease of 11.4% from net sales of $255.7 million reported a year ago. Organic sales decreased 12.7%, which was partially offset by a favorable foreign currency translation of 1.3%. Segment IBT was $12.2 million compared with IBT of $22.2 million reported a year ago. EBIT was $12.1 million, a decrease of 45.4% compared to EBIT of $22.1 million in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. The segment reported restructuring-related charges of $2 million in the third quarter compared to $2.1 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes these charges, decreased 41.6% to $14.1 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2021 from an adjusted EBIT of $24.2 million during the year-ago period.

 

“Challenging market trends persisted for our Performance Coatings Group during the quarter, including weak energy demand that impacted industrial coatings and Covid-19 protocols that restricted access to facilities for flooring system installations,” said Sullivan. “Lower sales volumes and pricing pressures resulted in earnings deleveraging, which was offset, in part, by discretionary cost cuts and MAP to Growth savings. As vaccines are administered and the impact of the pandemic diminishes, we expect the segment to rebound as its industrial customers resume maintenance projects and energy markets recover due to increased travel.”

 

Consumer Group net sales were $477.7 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of 19.8% compared to net sales of $398.7 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Organic sales increased by 12.7%. Acquisitions contributed 6.1% to sales growth and foreign currency translation was favorable by 1%. Consumer Group IBT was $42.7 million compared with IBT of $29.8 million in the prior-year period. EBIT was up 43.3% to $42.8 million compared to EBIT of $29.9 million in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. The segment incurred restructuring-related expenses of $5 million during fiscal 2021 and $2.3 million during fiscal 2020. Excluding these charges, fiscal 2021 third-quarter adjusted EBIT was $47.8 million, an increase of 48.6% over the adjusted EBIT of $32.1 million reported during the prior-year period.

 

“Our Consumer Group continued to leverage its broad distribution and market leadership in caulks, sealants, cleaners, abrasives and small-project paints to capitalize on the positive DIY home improvement trend,” said Sullivan. “Similar to the U.S., the segment’s international results were equally robust in Europe and Canada. Adjusted EBIT margins improved due to MAP savings and the leveraging of higher sales volumes, which offset rising distribution expenses.”

 

The Specialty Products Group reported net sales of $169.2 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of 14.7% compared to net sales of $147.5 million in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. Organic sales increased 13.4% and favorable foreign currency translation added 1.3%.

 

Segment IBT was $24.6 million compared to $12.9 million in the prior-year period. EBIT was $24.6 million, an increase of 89.9% compared to EBIT of $13 million in the fiscal 2020 third quarter. The segment reported third-quarter restructuring-related charges of $0.6 million in fiscal 2021 and restructuring-related charges and acquisition costs of $4.6 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes these charges, was $25.3 million in the fiscal 2021 third quarter, an increase of 44.2% compared to adjusted EBIT of $17.5 million in last year’s quarter.

 

“Specialty Products Group results were a record. For the second consecutive quarter, the segment showed dramatic improvement due to recent management changes and improving market conditions for many of its businesses,” said Sullivan. “In particular, our restoration equipment business, driven by extreme weather events in North America, experienced excellent top-line growth, as did our businesses serving the furniture, outdoor recreational equipment, food and OEM markets. The segment was able to drive MAP to Growth savings and operating leverage from higher sales volumes to the bottom line.”

 

Nine-Month Results

Fiscal 2021 nine-month consolidated net sales increased 7.8% to $4.36 billion from $4.05 billion during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Organic growth was 6.1%, with acquisitions adding 1.6% and foreign currency translation increased sales by 0.1%. Net income was $346.5 million, an increase of 77.6% compared to $195.1 million in the fiscal 2020 nine-month period. Diluted EPS increased 77.3% to $2.66 versus $1.50 a year ago. IBT was $464.2 million compared to $260.9 million reported in the fiscal 2020 nine-month period. EBIT was $494.4 million, an increase of 50.2% versus the $329.2 million reported last year.

 

Nine-month EBIT included restructuring, acquisition-related and other items impacting earnings that are not indicative of ongoing operations of $53.9 million during fiscal 2021 and $77.5 million during the same period of fiscal 2020. Excluding these items, RPM’s fiscal 2021 nine-month adjusted EBIT increased 34.8% to $548.4 million compared to adjusted EBIT of $406.7 million during the year-ago period. Investments resulted in a net after-tax gain of $19.4 million for the nine months of fiscal 2021 and an after-tax gain of $3.1 million during the same period last year. 

 

Finally, RPM recorded a $5.3 million discrete tax adjustment during fiscal 2021 to increase its deferred tax liability for withholding taxes on additional unremitted foreign earnings not considered permanently reinvested. Excluding the restructuring and other items, as well as investment gains/losses and the discrete tax adjustment, adjusted diluted EPS increased 48.5% to $2.88 compared to $1.94 in the prior-year quarter.

 

Nine-Month Segment Sales and Earnings

Construction Products Group fiscal 2021 nine-month sales increased 2.8% to $1.45 billion from $1.41 billion during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Organic sales increased 3.2%, while foreign currency translation reduced sales by 0.4%. IBT was $184.6 million versus year-ago IBT of $139.3 million. Segment EBIT was $190.9 million, an increase of 31.2% over EBIT of $145.6 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. The segment incurred restructuring and other items of $8.3 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2021 and restructuring- and acquisition-related expenses of $9.3 million during the same period of fiscal 2020. Excluding these items, fiscal 2021 adjusted EBIT increased 28.7% to $199.3 million from adjusted EBIT of $154.8 million reported during the year-ago period.

 

Performance Coatings Group fiscal 2021 nine-month sales were $745.1 million a decrease of 11.9% from $845.6 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Organic sales decreased 12.3%, while foreign currency translation and acquisitions increased sales by 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively. IBT was $64.7 million versus year-ago IBT of $83.6 million. Segment EBIT was $64.7 million, a decrease of 22.6% compared to EBIT of $83.6 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. The segment reported nine-month restructuring-related charges of $8.4 million in fiscal 2021 and restructuring-related charges and acquisition costs of $14.5 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes these charges, decreased 25.6% to $73 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2021 from an adjusted EBIT of $98.1 million during the year-ago period.

 

In the Consumer Group, fiscal 2021 nine-month sales were up 25.4% to $1.67 billion from $1.33 billion during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Organic sales improved by 21.2%, while acquisitions added 3.8%. Foreign currency increased sales by 0.4%. IBT was $263.8 million, compared to year-ago IBT of $123.4 million. Consumer Group fiscal 2021 nine-month EBIT was $264 million, an increase of 113.5% compared to $123.6 million reported during the first nine months a year ago. The segment incurred restructuring- and acquisition-related charges of $11.2 million during fiscal 2021 and restructuring-related charges of $24.9 million during fiscal 2020. Excluding these charges, fiscal 2021 nine-month adjusted EBIT was $275.2 million, an increase of 85.3% over adjusted EBIT of $148.5 million reported during the prior-year period.

 

Specialty Products Group fiscal 2021 nine-month sales were $503.2 million, an increase of 8.1% compared to $465.7 million during the first nine months a year ago. Organic sales increased 4.5%. Acquisitions and foreign currency translation increased sales by 2.7% and 0.9%, respectively. IBT was $73.4 million versus year-ago IBT of $55 million. Fiscal 2021 nine-month EBIT in the segment was $73.6 million, an increase of 33.8% versus $55 million in the same period a year ago. The segment reported nine-month restructuring-related charges of $5.3 million in fiscal 2021 and restructuring-related charges and acquisition costs of $14.3 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBIT, which excludes these charges, was $79 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2021, an increase of 13.9% from the $69.3 million reported during the same period of fiscal 2020.

 

Record Cash Flow and Financial Position

For the first nine months of fiscal 2021, cash from operations was a record and increased 71% to $651.9 million, compared to $381.2 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Capital expenditures during the current nine-month period of $103.2 million compared to $105.4 million over the same time in fiscal 2020. Total debt at the end of the first nine months of fiscal 2021 was $2.31 billion compared to $2.56 billion a year ago and $2.54 billion at the end of fiscal 2020. Per the terms of RPM’s bank agreements, the company’s calculated net leverage ratio was 2.13 on Feb. 28, 2021, which was an improvement as compared to 2.90 a year ago. 

 

At Feb. 28, 2021, total liquidity was $1.43 billion and included cash of $249.2 million and $1.18 billion in committed available credit.

 

“Our balance sheet is stronger than ever. Thanks to our margin and working capital improvements through our MAP to Growth program, we have generated record cash flow, which has been strategically managed to reduce debt. Simultaneously, we are completing acquisitions and making investments to improve the efficiency of our operations,” said Sullivan.

 

Business Outlook

“Several macroeconomic factors are creating inflationary and supply pressures on some of our product categories. These factors include supplier refineries operating at lower levels due to low fuel demand; the disruption winter storm Uri caused on supply chains; intermittent supplier plant shutdowns in response to the pandemic; and significant worldwide demand for packaging, solvents and chemicals used in cleaning products. We expect that these increased costs will be reflected in our results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and more significantly during fiscal 2022. We are moving aggressively to offset these increased costs with commensurate selling price increases,” said Sullivan. 

 

“Fortunately, due to our MAP to Growth program, we are in a much better position to weather these challenges than we were three years ago when the last inflationary cycle occurred. With a stronger partnership with our supplier base and longer-term contracts, we are working with our supplier partners to secure necessary raw materials and control costs to whatever extent possible. Additionally, our improved center-led processes and systems are providing more timely and actionable information. We are also working in collaboration with customers through these supply chain challenges,” said Sullivan.

 

“Looking ahead to our fourth quarter and beyond, there is currently a great deal of volatility around input costs and uncertainty regarding material availability. While our third-quarter earnings did not reflect spiking material costs due to our FIFO inventory methodology, inflation is expected to be significant in our fourth quarter and into the first quarter of fiscal 2022. We are currently implementing appropriate price increases and changes in terms, which we anticipate will offset the inflationary impact by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2022. There is also much uncertainty related to the breadth and speed at which global economies reopen as people become vaccinated. Based on the information we have on hand today, we expect our fiscal 2021 fourth-quarter sales to increase by double digits compared to the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter. Last year’s fourth quarter should prove to be an easier revenue comparison because it was heavily impacted by the onset of the pandemic,” said Sullivan. “Our earnings comparison versus last year, on the other hand, will be more challenging because of raw material inflation, as well as an extraordinary situation last year when our non-operating segment reported a profit due to lower travel and medical expenses, incentive reversals and other factors. As a result, our fourth-quarter adjusted EBIT is expected to increase double digits, but below the rate of sales growth. Excluding our non-operating segment, adjusted EBIT for our four operating segments in total is expected to increase by more than 20%.

 

“At the conclusion of our fourth quarter, we expect to exceed the targeted MAP to Growth program’s planned run rate of $290 million in annualized savings. Through our culture of continuous improvement, we will continue to add to our robust pipeline of cost-saving initiatives and operational improvements. As we sustain the efficiency gains achieved through MAP to Growth, we are shifting more focus and resources toward top-line growth through internal investment and acquisitions. Our goal is to return to the exceptional revenue growth rates that have been a hallmark of RPM since its founding in 1947,” said Sullivan.

 

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