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 third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2012. Graham’s current fiscal year (“fiscal 2013”) ends March 31, 2013.
Net sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were $25.6 million, up 5.4% from net sales of $24.3 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 (“fiscal 2012”). Net income was $3.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared with $1.6 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the prior-year’s third quarter. Excluding a $975 thousand, or $0.10 per diluted share, benefit associated with the reversal of a reserve related to Graham’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Energy Steel, net income increased 26.3% to $2.1 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, over the prior-year period on just a 5% increase in sales, reflecting solid operating leverage.
Shipments to the Middle East and Asia more than offset nuclear and naval project delays
International sales, which comprised 55% of total sales in the quarter, measurably strengthened by 37%, or $3.8 million, to $14.2 million in the fiscal 2013 third quarter compared with the same prior-year period. The growth was driven by increased sales in the Middle East and Asia. Third quarter sales to the U.S. market were $11.4 million, or 45% of total sales, compared with $13.9 million in the same prior-year period. The decline in U.S. sales was directly related to project delays associated with the naval nuclear propulsion program (“NNPP”) and new-build nuclear power facilities along with typical variations in geographic sales mix.
Mr. James R. Lines, Graham’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Shipments to the refining and petrochemical markets in the Middle East and Asia were strong during the quarter offsetting lower sales in the U.S. Delays with the naval nuclear propulsion program and new-build nuclear power projects are to be expected for complex projects of these magnitudes and, as a result, customers have pushed the length of time to completion out by several quarters.”
Sales by Industry
In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, sales to the refining industry increased on higher demand for Graham’s engineered-to-order products primarily in the Middle East and Asia. Higher chemical/petrochemical industry sales reflected the conversion of orders to sales in the Middle East, where demand continues to be strong. The declines in sales to the power market (which includes nuclear power), and to other commercial and industrial markets (which includes the NNPP), were primarily related to customer timing associated with large project requirements.
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.
Strong operating leverage
Gross profit was $7.1 million, or 27.8% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $6.5 million, or 26.6% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year and compared with $7.9 million, or 30.5% of sales, in the trailing second quarter of fiscal 2013. The improvements in gross profit and margin compared with the prior-year quarter reflected orders received approximately nine to twelve months back when market conditions began to improve. On a trending basis, although margins in backlog have generally been improving, gross margin declined in the fiscal 2013 third quarter compared with the trailing second quarter as a result of customer and product mix.
Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were $3.2 million, down from $3.8 million in the prior-year period. Fiscal 2013’s third quarter SG&A benefitted from a $975 thousand reversal of the second year contingent earn-out provision related to the December 2010 acquisition of Energy Steel. Excluding this benefit, third quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted SG&A was up $0.3 million, or 9.0%, to $4.2 million.
The Energy Steel acquisition agreement provided the seller with the opportunity to achieve an earn out of up to $1.0 million for each of the first two full calendar years (calendar years 2011 and 2012) of Graham’s ownership of Energy Steel. The first year earn out (calendar year 2011) was achieved and paid to the seller in January 2012. The earn out for the second year (calendar year 2012) was not achieved as a result of lower order volume and project timing during calendar year 2012.
“Energy Steel has proven to be a successful acquisition for Graham. Energy Steel’s backlog has more than doubled and its addressable market has expanded from the benefit of Graham’s technical capabilities. We have also broadened Graham’s growth potential with an additional market leg in the nuclear power industry. We have grown Energy Steel’s traditional U.S. repair and replacement parts business and also penetrated the domestic new build market. In addition, we have seen early successes in international markets with orders in China, Korea and Eastern Europe. We believe we set challenging criteria for the earn out, and although the second year goal was missed, since its acquisition the business has generated a strong cash return that has exceeded our hurdle rate,” commented Jeffrey F. Glajch, Vice President of Finance and CFO of Graham Corporation.
SG&A as a percent of sales was 12.4% in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Adjusted SG&A, excluding the benefit of the earn-out provision reversal, was 16.2% of sales, up from 15.7% in the prior-year period as a result of investments in additional personnel in anticipation of higher sales volume.
Operating profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 was $3.9 million, or 15.4% of sales, compared with $2.6 million, or 10.9% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Excluding the $975 thousand reserve reversal, adjusted operating profit was $3.0 million, or 11.6% of sales.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) was $4.5 million, or 17.4% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $3.2 million, or 13.0% of sales, in the same period of the prior fiscal year. Graham believes that when used in conjunction with measures prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting measures in the U.S. (“GAAP”), EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP measure, helps in the understanding of operating performance. Graham’s credit facility also contains ratios based on EBITDA. See the attached tables for important disclosures regarding Graham’s use of EBITDA as well as a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA.
Graham’s effective tax rate for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 was 22.5%, compared with 36.9% in the same prior-year period. The lower tax rate was the result of the reversal of the Energy Steel earn-out provision.
First Nine Months of Fiscal 2013 Review
Net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 were $74.1 million, down from $82.9 million in the same prior-year period. International sales were $34.8 million and represented 47% of total sales in the first nine months of fiscal 2013, compared with $40.0 million, or 48% of total sales, in the first nine months of fiscal 2012. Compared with the same prior-year period, U.S. sales decreased 9%, or $3.7 million, to $39.3 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2013.
Gross profit for the fiscal 2013 nine month period declined to $21.3 million, or 28.7% of total sales, compared with $27.5 million and 33.1% in the same prior-year period. Lower gross profit for the nine month period reflected lower relative margins in the first half of the current fiscal year. On a comparative basis, the first half of fiscal 2012 benefitted from higher margin projects which were won during the last up cycle.
SG&A expenses of $11.7 million in the fiscal 2013 nine month period were down from $11.9 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2012. Excluding the impact of the Energy Steel earn-out reserve reversal describe above, adjusted SG&A for the nine month period ending on December 31, 2012 increased $0.8 million. As a percentage of sales, SG&A was 15.8% in the first nine months of fiscal 2013 compared with 14.4% in the same period of the prior fiscal year. Adjusted SG&A as a percent of sales during the first nine months of fiscal 2013 was 17.1%.
EBITDA for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 was $11.1 million, or 15.0% of sales, compared with $17.0 million, or 20.5% of sales, in the same prior-year period. See the attached tables for important disclosures regarding Graham’s use of EBITDA as well as a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA.
Net Income in the first nine months of fiscal 2013 was $7.1 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.1 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2012.
Strong balance sheet provides financial flexibility
Cash flow provided by operations in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2013 was $8.7 million and $14.9 million, respectively, compared with $7.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 and $3.9 million during the nine month period ended December 31, 2011. The increase in cash provided by operations was primarily related to improvements in working capital requirements.
Cash, cash equivalents and investments at December 31, 2012 increased to $55.1 million compared with $41.7 million at March 31, 2012 and $46.9 million at September 30, 2012.
Capital expenditures were $0.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $1.1 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. For the first nine months of fiscal 2013, capital expenditures were $1.0 million. Capital expenditures in fiscal 2013 are expected to be approximately $1.5 million to $2.0 million.
Graham had no borrowings outstanding under its credit facility at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013. There were $11.3 million in letters of credit outstanding under Graham’s credit facility as of December 31, 2012, reducing borrowing capacity by an equivalent amount.
Strong pipeline of opportunities and increasing bid activity
Mr. Lines concluded, “We remain optimistic in both the long-term outlook in our markets and our ability to achieve our goal of over $200 million in annual revenue in this next cycle. The order release pattern for the early stages of the recovery in our markets has been somewhat unusual, with bidding activity building nicely, while at the same time, there has been an inconsistent release of orders. Nonetheless, we expect as we move through fiscal 2014 to reach the inflection point at which time our book to bill ratio will more regularly exceed one-to-one, and our backlog should begin to expand to reflect the momentum.”
Orders during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were $24.6 million, up 12% from $21.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, but down 4% from orders of $25.6 million in the trailing second quarter of fiscal 2013. Compared with the same prior-year period, orders in the third quarter from the refining market increased by $11.4 million to $13.4 million, power market orders were down by $5.9 million to $5.0 million and orders from other industrial and commercial markets decreased by $0.7 million to $3.6 million. Orders from the chemical/petrochemical market were down in the third quarter by $2.1 million to $2.6 million when compared with the same prior-year period.
Orders from U.S. customers represented 50%, or $12.3 million, of total orders during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, while orders from international markets accounted for $12.3 million of total orders. 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 $90.7 million at December 31, 2012, compared with $91.8 million at September 30, 2012 and $72.5 million at December 31, 2011. Approximately 37% of projects in backlog as of the end of the third quarter were for refinery projects, 27% were for power projects, including nuclear, and 10% were for chemical and petrochemical projects. All other industries served by Graham accounted for 26% of backlog.
Approximately 75% to 85% of orders currently in backlog are expected to be converted to sales within the next 12 months. The current conversion rate is a result of the two multiyear orders in backlog for new-build U.S. nuclear facilities and the aircraft carrier order for the U.S. Navy’s NNPP. The project that was on hold at September 30, 2012, valued at $1.0 million, was released by the customer and is expected to be in production during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
Graham adjusted its expectations for full year fiscal 2013 revenue to be between $102.5 million and $107.5 million while expectations regarding gross margin for the year remain unchanged at 29% to 31%. SG&A expense for fiscal 2013 is expected to be between 15.5% and 16.0% of sales for fiscal 2013. Excluding the impact of the reversal of the earn-out reserve, fiscal 2013 SG&A is expected to be between 16.5% and 17.0% of sales. Graham expects its full year fiscal 2013 tax rate to be in the 29% to 30% range. This includes the expected effect of the recent extension of the R&D tax credit, which will impact the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
Webcast and Conference Call
Graham will host a conference call and live webcast today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to review Graham’s financial condition and operating results for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2013, as well as Graham’s strategy and outlook. The review will be accompanied by a slide presentation which will be available on this website under the heading “Investor Relations.” A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation.
Graham’s conference call can be accessed by calling 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 replay pin number 406939. A telephonic replay will be available from approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of call through Friday, February 8, 2013. A transcript of the call will be placed on Graham’s website, once available.