Graham Corporation Reports Q1 FY 2013 Operating Margin 9.6% with $22.5M in Sales

BATAVIA, NY, July 26, 2012 – 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, 2012. Graham’s current fiscal year (“fiscal 2013”) ends March 31, 2013.

Net sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were $22.5 million, down 10% from net sales of $25.0 million in the prior year’s first quarter, as last year’s first quarter benefited from the conversion to sales of a large Middle East refinery project. Net income was $1.4 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in fiscal 2013’s first quarter compared with $3.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, in the same prior-year period.

Mr. James R. Lines, Graham’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “First quarter sales reflected the order levels we experienced twelve to eighteen months ago. We continue to expect sales in the first half of fiscal 2013 to be similar to the second half of fiscal 2012, but expect overall growth for the full year. Based on the timing of our backlog converting to sales, we expect revenue and margins to strengthen in the latter half of fiscal 2013. Additionally, we continue to develop internal capacity to be positioned for growing sales once our markets are in full recovery.”

Market and geographic diversity help to balance shifting demand

Sales increased in the U.S. by 12% to $12.6 million, representing 56% of total sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. This continued the trend of increasing domestic sales over the last two years as projects for the nuclear power industry and naval nuclear propulsion program advance. International sales declined $3.9 million, mostly as a result of lower sales to the Middle East and South America. This decline was partially offset by a $2.9 million increase in sales to Canada, which were primarily related to tar sands projects.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, sales to other commercial and industrial applications, which includes the U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion program, accounted for 29% of sales compared with 17% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter. Approximately 25% of sales were to the chemical/petrochemical industry during the first quarter compared with 12% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter. Sales to the power market were 23% of total sales, a slight increase compared with last year’s first quarter, representing continued opportunities in the nuclear industry and alternative energy markets, while sales to the refining industry in the quarter were 23% of sales compared with 48% of sales in the same period of the prior fiscal year.

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 12-month basis.

First quarter operating performance

Gross profit was $6.2 million, or 27.7% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Gross profit was $8.2 million, or 32.8% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. The decline in gross profit was the result of lower volume and resulting reduced capacity utilization, as well as less favorable pricing. A large refinery project in production during last year’s first quarter was won during the prior market peak with commensurate pricing.

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were $4.1 million, compared with $3.7 million in fiscal 2012’s first quarter. The increase reflects the addition of sales and engineering personnel to support increased bidding and sales activity. As a percent of sales, SG&A was 18.1% and 14.8% in the first quarters of fiscal 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Operating profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $2.2 million compared with $4.5 million in the prior-year’s first quarter. Operating margin was 9.6% in the current quarter compared with 18.0% in the prior fiscal year’s first quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) was $2.7 million, or 11.9% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $5.0 million, or 20.0% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. Graham believes that when used in conjunction with GAAP measures, EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP measure, helps in the understanding of operating performance. Graham’s credit facility also contains ratios based on EBITDA. The attached tables provide important disclosures regarding Graham’s use of EBITDA as well as a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA.

Graham recorded a final $24 thousand tax charge during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 related to an adjustment of research and development tax credit claims generated during tax years 2009 and 2010. The effective tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was 33% and is expected to be in the 34% to 35% range for fiscal 2013.

Balance sheet provides financial flexibility

Cash flow provided by operations in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was $5.5 million compared with $1.6 million of cash used in operating activities during the prior year’s first quarter. The increase in cash provided by operations was primarily related to changes in working capital requirements.

Cash, cash equivalents and investments at June 30, 2012 increased to $46.6 million compared with $41.7 million at March 31, 2012 and $41.1 million at June 30, 2011.

Capital expenditures were $300 thousand in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with $340 thousand for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Capital expenditures in fiscal 2013 are expected to be approximately $3.0 million to $3.5 million.

Pipeline remains strong

Orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were fairly well distributed among Graham’s major end markets. Orders of $19.7 million during the current quarter increased 4% compared with orders of $19.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, but were down from $42.3 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The refining market generated orders of $7.3 million during the quarter compared with $6.1 million in the prior year’s period. Orders from the chemical/petrochemical industry increased to $5.0 million compared with $2.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Orders from the power market, including nuclear energy, were $4.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, down from $7.1 million in the same prior-year period. Orders from all other industries decreased to $2.8 million during the first quarter from $3.6 million in the prior year’s first quarter.

Orders from U.S. customers represented 41%, or $8.0 million, of total orders during the first quarter of fiscal 2013. 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 due to sales to the nuclear industry and U.S. Navy as well as anticipated continued growth in the Asian and Latin American markets. Graham’s backlog was $92.0 million at June 30, 2012, compared with $94.9 million at March 31, 2012 and $85.2 million at June 30, 2011.

Approximately 30% of projects in Graham’s backlog as of the end of the first quarter were for refinery projects, 26% were for power projects, including nuclear, and 18% were for chemical and petrochemical projects. Twenty-six percent of backlog related to all other industries served by Graham. Approximately 70% to 80% of orders currently in backlog are expected to be converted to sales within the next 12 months, which is lower than Graham’s typical conversion rate of approximately 85% to 90% over a given 12-month period. The current conversion rate is a result of the multiyear orders in backlog for U.S. nuclear facilities and the U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion power program, which together comprise approximately one-third of backlog. One project with a value of approximately $1.0 million also remains on hold in backlog.

Mr. Lines concluded, “We continue to see bidding activity that causes us to remain optimistic regarding the long term outlook for the industries we serve and the recovery potential of our end markets. We believe that global economic uncertainty and rising costs continue to cause the recovery activity to advance in spurts and also slowed the release of orders during the first quarter. Nonetheless, our pipeline of opportunities remains strong and we will continue to develop internal capacity to support anticipated growth.”

Graham continues to expect that fiscal 2013 sales will be in the range of $105 million to $115 million. Gross margin expectations for fiscal 2013 remain between 28% and 31%, and Graham expects that its SG&A expense for fiscal 2013 will be in the range of 15% to 16% of sales.

Webcast and Conference Call

Graham will host a conference call and live webcast today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. During the conference call and webcast, James R. Lines, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Jeffrey F. Glajch, Vice President - Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer, will review Graham’s financial condition and operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, as well as Graham’s strategy and outlook. Their review will be accompanied by a slide presentation which will be available on Graham’s website at www.graham-mfg.com. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation.

Graham’s conference call can be accessed by dialing 1-201-689-8560. Alternatively, the webcast can be monitored on Graham’s website.

To listen to the archived call, dial 1-858-384-5517, and enter the Replay Pin Number 396208. A telephonic replay will be available from 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of release through August 2, 2012. A transcript of the call will be placed on Graham’s website, once available.