ATS Automation Tooling Systems: Q1 2015 results

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CAMBRIDGE - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX: ATA) reported financial results for the three months ended June 29, 2014 .

First Quarter Summary

    Revenues from continuing operations were $190.9 million , 27% higher than the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Excluding IWK revenues of $34.6 million , revenues from continuing operations were $156.3 million , a 4% increase over the corresponding period a year ago;
    EBITDA1 was $20.9 million , compared to $23.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 and $15.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Normalized for $3.0 million of acquisition-program related costs, first quarter fiscal 2015 EBITDA was $23.9 million .  Normalized for $2.2 million of restructuring charges, first quarter fiscal 2014 EBITDA was $18.0 million ;
    Earnings from continuing operations were $14.4 million (8% operating margin), compared to $17.2 million (9% operating margin) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 and $12.7 million (8% operating margin) in the first quarter a year ago.  Adjusted earnings from continuing operations1 were $21.1 million (11% operating margin), compared to $15.9 (11% operating margin) in the first quarter a year ago;
    Earnings per share from continuing operations were 10 cents basic and diluted compared to 10 cents basic and diluted in the first quarter a year ago.  Adjusted basic earnings per share1 from continuing operations were 15 cents compared to 13 cents in the first quarter a year ago;
    Order Bookings were $160 million , a 3% decrease over the corresponding period a year ago. Excluding IWK Order Bookings of $33 million , Order Bookings were $127 million compared to $165 million in the first quarter a year ago;
    Period end Order Backlog was $425 million , up 2% from $415 million in the first quarter a year ago. Higher Order Backlog reflected the addition of IWK's Order Backlog and bookings;
    The Company's balance sheet and financial capacity to support growth remained strong, with cash net of debt in continuing operations of $75.2 million at June 29, 2014 , unutilized credit facilities of $180.9 million and $14.3 million of credit available under letter of credit facilities;
    The Company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of M+W Process Automation GmbH and ProFocus LLC (collectively "M+W PA") subsequent to the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

 "Our first quarter operating performance was solid and market activity is strong," said Anthony Caputo , Chief Executive Officer. "Strategically, we took a significant step in our value creation plan through the acquisition of M+W PA, which expands ATS' markets, customer penetration, capability and geography, and provides a significant platform to drive organic growth. We remain focused on continuing to grow, expand and scale our business, both organically and through acquisition".

First Quarter Summary Continuing Operations
Fiscal 2015 first quarter revenues were 27% higher than in the corresponding period a year ago primarily reflecting $34.6 million of revenues earned by IWK. Excluding IWK, first quarter revenues were $156.3 million , a 4% increase over the corresponding period a year ago. Foreign exchange rate changes positively impacted the translation of revenues earned by foreign-based subsidiaries compared to the corresponding period a year ago, primarily reflecting the weakening of the Canadian dollar relative to the Euro and U.S. dollar. By industrial market, fiscal first quarter revenues from consumer products & electronics increased by 189%, primarily on revenues from IWK and organic growth in the consumer products market. Revenues generated in the energy market increased 87% compared to the corresponding period a year ago, primarily on higher Order Backlog entering the first quarter due largely to increased activity in the nuclear energy market. Revenues generated in the life sciences market increased 19% compared to the corresponding period a year ago, primarily on revenues from IWK. Transportation revenues decreased 4% compared to a year ago primarily due to lower Order Backlog in the first quarter compared to a year ago.

First quarter fiscal 2015 earnings from operations were $14.4 million (8% operating margin) compared to $12.7 million (8% operating margin) in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.  First quarter fiscal 2015 earnings from operations included $3.0 million of incremental costs related to the Company's acquisition strategy and amortization expenses of $3.7 million related to amortization of identifiable intangible assets recorded on the acquisitions of IWK, Assembly & Test Worldwide and Sortimat.  Adjusted for those costs, first quarter fiscal 2015 adjusted earnings from operations were $21.1 million (11% operating margin).  Adjusted for $2.2 million of restructuring charges and amortization expense of $1.0 million related to amortization of identifiable intangible assets recorded on the acquisitions of Assembly & Test Worldwide and Sortimat, first quarter fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings from operations were $15.9 million (11% operating margin).  Higher adjusted earnings from operations primarily reflected higher revenues, better program execution, and the inclusion of IWK, partially offset by higher stock-based compensation costs.

Depreciation and amortization expense was $6.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to $3.1 million a year ago, primarily due to a $2.6 million increase in amortization as a result of the addition of identifiable intangible assets recorded on the acquisition of IWK in the third quarter of fiscal 2014.

EBITDA was $20.9 million (11% EBITDA margin) in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to $15.8 million (11% EBITDA margin) in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.  Normalized for the acquisition-program related costs, first quarter fiscal 2015 EBITDA was $23.9 million (13% EBITDA margin). First quarter fiscal 2014 EBITDA was $18.0 million (12% EBITDA margin) normalized for restructuring charges.

Order Bookings
First quarter fiscal 2015 Order Bookings were $160 million , a 3% decrease from the first quarter of fiscal 2014.  Excluding the impact of IWK, Order Bookings were $127 million , a 23% decrease from the previous year.  Lower Order Bookings primarily reflected the timing of customer decisions on various larger opportunities. By market, lower Order Bookings in Energy were partially offset by increased Order Bookings in Transportation as well as increased Order Bookings in Consumer Products and Electronics due to the acquisition of IWK.  The funnel of opportunities continues to be strong, with all markets maintaining levels similar to levels of a year ago.

Business Acquisition - M+W PA
On July 8, 2014 , the Company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of M+W Process Automation GmbH and ProFocus LLC (collectively "M+W PA").  M+W PA is a leading global provider of engineering-based automation services and solutions focused on the control, performance monitoring and measurement of critical production processes.  The acquisition is aligned with ATS' stated strategy of scaling its position in the global automation market by adding to its services and life-cycle management capabilities across several core elements of the customer value chain.  The addition of M+W PA is expected to enhance growth opportunities in both new markets and with existing customers.

In calendar 2013, M+W PA had revenues of approximately 166 million Euro and EBITDA of approximately 20 million Euro .  Over the past three years, M+W PA's revenues have grown organically at an average annual rate of approximately 19%.  Sales by industry segment in 2013 were 41% automotive, 26% chemicals, 13% pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, 3% oil & gas and 17% other industries including food and beverage, water, wastewater, consumer care, paper, metal and semiconductor.  Revenues earned in Europe accounted for approximately 70% of global sales, North America 27% and Asia 3%.  In calendar 2013, M+W PA's Order Bookings were 188 million Euro , and at the end of May 2014 it had approximately 120 million Euro of Order Backlog.

Cash consideration to be paid for M+W PA pending net debt and working capital adjustments is approximately 248 million Euro ( $362 million based on exchange rates at the time of the announcement).  The cash consideration of the purchase price, along with transaction costs, will be funded from a new fully committed $600 million credit facility to be available at closing.  The acquisition will be accounted for as a business combination with the Company as the acquirer of M+W PA.  The purchase method of accounting will be used and the earnings of M+W PA will be consolidated beginning from the acquisition date. ATS expects to complete the acquisition by the end of September 2014 , subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable antitrust approvals. For additional information on the acquisition of M+W PA, refer to note 20 of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements.

First Quarter Summary of Discontinued Operations: Solar
Ontario Solar recorded $6.9 million of income in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to income of $11.0 million in the first quarter a year ago. During the first quarter of fiscal 2015, OSPV completed the sale of its remaining three ground-mount solar projects.  OSPV will retain 25% ownership of the projects until they reach commercial operation, which is expected to occur in early calendar 2015.  Net proceeds to ATS are expected to be approximately $14.6 million , of which the Company received net proceeds of $12.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.  The remaining proceeds are expected to be received when the projects achieve commercial operation.

During fiscal 2014, OSPV sold four ground-mount solar projects, representing approximately 34 megawatts (MWs).  OSPV will retain 25% ownership of the projects until they reach commercial operation, which is expected to occur in calendar 2014.  Net proceeds to the Company are expected to be $21.4 million , of which the Company previously received net proceeds of $13.9 million .  The remaining proceeds are expected to be received when the projects achieve commercial operation.

About ATS
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies.  Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs of multinational customers in industries such as life sciences, transportation, energy, consumer products and electronics. ATS also leverages its many years of experience and skills to fulfill the specialized automation product manufacturing requirements of customers. ATS employs approximately 2,500 people at 23 manufacturing facilities in Canada , the United States , Europe , Southeast Asia and China . The Company's Solar segment is classified as discontinued operations. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.

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