* First quarter revenue was $28.3 million, an increase of 25% over the prior-year period
* Orders for this year’s first quarter were $32.8 million, approximately half of which came from the North American petrochemical market; Backlog at quarter end increased to $90.4 million
* Operating margin was 20% in the first quarter, up from 10% in last year’s first quarter
* First quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.38, compared with $0.14 in the first quarter of fiscal 2013
* Fiscal 2014 outlook reaffirmed; Sales expected to be in the range of $100 million to $115 million with gross margin in the range of 29% to 31%
Graham Corporation (NYSE MKT: GHM), a global business that designs, manufactures and sells critical equipment for the oil refining, petrochemical and power industries, including the supply of components and raw materials to nuclear energy facilities, today reported its financial results for its first quarter ended June 30, 2013. Graham’s current fiscal year (“fiscal 2014”) ends March 31, 2014.
Net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $28.3 million, up 25.4% from net sales of $22.5 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 (“fiscal 2013”), with the increase driven primarily by the global petroleum refining sector. Higher volume and improved margins drove net income to $3.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared with $1.4 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the prior-year’s first quarter.
Mr. James R. Lines, Graham’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We have begun fiscal 2014 with solid execution on our large projects, complemented by a higher level of short cycle sales. Quality projects, favorable project mix and volume drove our bottom line expansion.”
Increased Global Refining Shipments Drove Improved Revenue in First Quarter
International sales, representing 47% of this quarter’s consolidated revenue, increased by 34%, or $3.3 million, to $13.3 million in the fiscal 2014 first quarter compared with the same prior-year period, when it was 44% of that period’s consolidated revenue. The increased sales were driven by the China refining market. First quarter sales to the U.S. market were $15.0 million, up $2.4 million, or 19%, compared with $12.6 million in the same prior-year period, with the increase driven by the U.S. refining market.
First Quarter Fiscal 2014 Compared with Fiscal 2013 Sales by Industry
Refining industry sales more than doubled in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with the prior-year period on higher demand for Graham’s engineered-to-order products, primarily in China for investment in new capacity and in the U.S. from replacement parts and revamp investment. Sales to the power market increased nearly 50%, reflecting advancement of projects in backlog for new build nuclear facilities. Decreased sales to the chemical/petrochemical market and to other commercial and industrial markets were mostly associated with project timing.
Fluctuations in Graham’s sales among geographic locations and industries can vary measurably from quarter-to-quarter based on the timing and magnitude of projects. Graham does not believe that such quarter-to-quarter fluctuations are indicative of business trends, which it believes are more apparent on a trailing one to two year basis.
First Quarter Operating Performance
Gross profit was $10.0 million, or 35.4% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with $6.2 million, or 27.7% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. The improvements in gross profit and margin were the result of both higher volume and sales of short cycle products and the quality of the projects converted from backlog. Gross profit in the trailing fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was $10.5 million, or 34.1% of sales. The improvement in gross margin in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with the trailing fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was primarily due to improved production cost absorption during the fiscal 2014 first quarter.
Mr. Jeffrey F. Glajch, Graham’s Vice President - Finance and Chief Financial Officer, commented, “We had a very good mix of projects and flow of orders through our operations in the first quarter, which drove strong gross margins. Nevertheless, as we look at our near-term pipeline and the backlog we have to convert within this fiscal year, we expect the timing of backlog conversion and a significant level of required outsourcing will cause margins to moderate over the next several quarters. We are maintaining the range of our gross margin guidance.”
Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $4.4 million, up 7.8% from $4.1 million in the same prior-year period. SG&A as a percent of sales was 15.6% in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with 18.1% in the same prior-year period, with the improvement due to higher sales volume and the relative fixed nature of most of the SG&A expenses.
Operating profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $5.6 million, or 19.9% of sales, compared with $2.2 million, or 9.6% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) was $6.2 million, or 21.8% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with $2.7 million, or 11.9% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. Graham believes that when used in conjunction with measures prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP measure, helps in the understanding of its operating performance. Graham’s credit facility also contains ratios based on EBITDA.
Graham’s effective tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was 32.2%, which compares with 33.3% in the same prior-year period.
Strong Balance Sheet with No Debt
Cash, cash equivalents and investments at June 30, 2013 increased to $53.2 million compared with $51.7 million at March 31, 2013. When compared with June 30, 2012, cash, cash equivalents and investments were up by $6.6 million from $46.6 million.
Cash flow provided by operations in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $2.0 million compared with $5.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. The decrease in cash provided by operations in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was primarily related to higher levels of accounts receivable in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, driven by the timing of progress payments and higher sales, partially offset by higher net income, lower inventory and higher customer deposits.
Capital expenditures were $0.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, approximately the same as the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Capital expenditures in fiscal 2014 are expected to be in the range of $3.5 million to $4.5 million. The Company may exceed this range subject to market conditions.
Graham had neither borrowings outstanding under its credit facility nor any long-term debt at June 30, 2013.
Strong Pipeline of Opportunities and Increasing Bid Activity
Orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were $32.8 million, up 66% from $19.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. When compared with the trailing fourth quarter of 2013, orders were up 27% from $25.9 million. Compared with the same prior-year period, orders from the chemical/petrochemical market increased by $14.3 million to $19.3 million, and other industrial and commercial markets were up by $3.7 million to $6.5 million, while refining market orders decreased by $3.6 million to $3.8 million and orders from the power market were down by $1.3 million to $3.2 million.
Approximately 50% of the first quarter’s orders were received in the latter half of June 2013, most of which will be manufactured concurrently in the latter half of fiscal 2014 and into the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The high concentration of U.S. orders was heavily influenced by the expansion of the petrochemical industry. The Company received two orders for two new U.S.-based ethylene facilities and four orders for U.S.-based fertilizer plants, of which two are for new capacity and two are expansions of existing facilities. There were also two methanol facilities located in the U.S. which ordered Graham equipment.
Mr. Lines noted, “Although we achieved the level of orders we had anticipated for the quarter, they came in an unusual burst in a very short period of time at the end of the quarter. We expect this was driven by the need to be first to market with capacity in the chemical/petrochemical industry. While this is likely a strong validation of the recovery of the U.S. petrochemical industry, we expect continued fluctuations in order flow.”
Orders from U.S. customers represented 87%, or $28.6 million, of total orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, while orders from international markets accounted for $4.2 million of total orders. While the first quarter had a strong predominance of domestic orders, it is premature to suggest a trend or shift toward the U.S. market. However, it is possible that in fiscal 2014 Graham could see a heavier weighting of domestic orders than was experienced during the past few years.
Graham expects that orders will continue to be variable between quarters, but that in the long-run orders will be relatively balanced between domestic and international markets.
Graham’s backlog was $90.4 million at June 30, 2013 compared with $85.8 million at March 31, 2013 and $92.0 million at June 30, 2012. Approximately 28% of projects in backlog as of the end of the first quarter were for refinery projects, 24% were for chemical and petrochemical projects, and 19% were for power projects, including nuclear. All other industries served by Graham accounted for 29% of backlog.
Approximately 70% to 75% of orders currently in backlog are expected to be converted to sales within the next 12 months. Graham had no projects on hold in backlog as of June 30, 2013.
Mr. Lines concluded, “Our pipeline remains full and steady with considerable global bidding activity of high quality projects. As the current fiscal year continues to unfold, we anticipate a more global mix of orders than we realized in this quarter. Although we still see this as the early stages of the recovery in our markets, we believe as the recovery evolves our pre-investment in our operations and engineering personnel has us well positioned for measurable growth.”
Graham expects sales will be in a range of $100 million to $115 million in fiscal 2014. Gross margin for fiscal 2014 is expected to be between 29% and 31%, as backlog is expected to continue to reflect moderate recovery levels of its end markets. SG&A expense is expected to be between 15% and 16% of sales for fiscal 2014. Graham expects its fiscal 2014 full year tax rate to be between 33% and 34%.
Webcast and Conference Call
Graham management will host a conference call and live webcast today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to review Graham’s financial condition and operating results for its first quarter of fiscal 2014, as well as its strategy and outlook. The review will be accompanied by a slide presentation which will be made available immediately prior to the conference call on this website under the heading “Investor elations.” A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation.
Graham’s conference call can be accessed by calling (201) 689-8560. Alternatively, the webcast can be monitored on this website.
To listen to the archived call, dial (858) 384-5517, and enter replay pin number 417127. A telephonic replay will be available from approximately 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of call through Thursday, August 1, 2013. A transcript of the call will be placed on Graham’s website, once available.