Exide Technologies: Q2 Results

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Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions, announced today its fiscal 2013 second quarter and year to date financial results for the periods ended September 30, 2012.

Consolidated Results

Fiscal 2013 second quarter consolidated net sales were $712 million as compared to net sales of $773 million in the fiscal 2012 second quarter. Net sales in the fiscal 2013 period were negatively impacted by both foreign currency translation ($41.7) million and lead related pricing ($30.5) million. The decrease was partially offset by increased sales in Industrial Energy Americas, higher unit sales in the original equipment ("OE") channel in both Transportation segments, and modest pricing in the Americas' aftermarket channel.

Gross profit for the quarter of $103.7 million, declined by $15 million when compared with the prior year period. A combination of continued high cost of spent batteries in the Americas, coupled with a lower LME price of lead weighed on results. The impact of this combination on the Americas business aggregated $18.6 million when compared to the prior year period; and was only partially offset by favorable pricing of $5.5 million, principally in the transportation aftermarket channel.

Selling and administrative expenses for the fiscal 2013 second quarter were $95.7 million or 13.4% of net sales versus $96.1 million or 12.4% of net sales in the comparable prior year period.

Fiscal 2013 second quarter operating income was $6.8 million compared to $21.2 million in the prior year second quarter. The decrease is primarily the result of higher spent battery input cost coupled with lower LME lead prices, and compressed margins on third party lead sales.

Net loss for the current quarter was $13.9 million or ($0.18) per share compared to the prior year period net loss of $3.6 million or ($0.05) per share.

Fiscal 2013 Six Month Consolidated Results

Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2013 amounted to $1.4 billion as compared with $1.5 billion for the prior fiscal year period. Net sales in the fiscal 2013 period were negatively impacted by lead related price decreases of approximately ($57.3) million. In addition, unfavorable foreign currency translation aggregated approximately ($87.5) million further reducing fiscal 2013 net sales.

Gross profit declined in the fiscal 2013 first half by $37.3 million to $197.9 million. The primary driver of this decrease is a 10% increase in average cost of spent batteries in the Americas coupled with lower LME based escalator pricing. Lead prices were down 21% on average during the 2013 period when compared to the prior year period. These items combined to decrease gross profit by approximately $38 million. The decline in gross profit was partially mitigated by reduced selling and administrative expenses as compensation costs were contained during the first half of fiscal 2013.

The Company reported a net loss for the six months ended September 30, 2012 of $120.4 million or ($1.56) per share as compared to a net loss of $8.8 million or ($0.11) per share in the six months ended September 30, 2011. The fiscal 2013 net loss includes a non-cash deferred tax valuation allowance charge of $86.7 million or ($1.12) per share.

As of September 30, 2012, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $74.3 million and $134.7 million of availability under its revolving bank credit facility. This compares to cash and cash equivalents of $84.8 million and $141.1 million of availability under its revolving bank credit facility as of September 30, 2011 and cash of $155.4 million and $152.8 million of availability under the revolving bank credit facility at March 31, 2012. The Company reported a use of free cash flow of $99 million for the six months ended September 30, 2012 as compared to a use of $87 million for the comparable prior year period. Jim Bolch, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, "Due to the seasonality of the business and similar to fiscal 2012, we expect third quarter free cash flow to be relatively flat and to generate free cash flow in the fourth quarter sufficient to offset a substantial portion of the year-to-date use."

Segment Information for the Three and Six Months Ended September 30, 2012

Transportation Segments

Net sales of the Company's combined Transportation segments in the fiscal 2013 second quarter was $424.2 million as compared to $471.9 million in the same period of fiscal 2012. Net sales were unfavorably impacted by foreign currency translation in the amount of ($23.3) million. Price decreases resulting from lead escalator agreements negatively impacted total Transportation net sales by approximately ($21.0) million in the fiscal 2013 second quarter. Fiscal 2013 second quarter aftermarket unit volume increased 1% as compared to the prior year second quarter, while units sold to OE customers increased approximately 11% quarter-over-quarter.

For the first half of fiscal 2013, Transportation Americas produced approximately 164 thousand tons of lead in our North American recycling operation, down about 3% from the prior year period. We sold 10% of this to third parties and 12% under tolling arrangements. This compares to 12% and 16% to third parties and under tolling arrangements, respectively, in the prior year comparable period. Profit on third party lead sales was down substantially as a result of the combination of historically high spent battery costs and low relative LME based lead prices. Third party lead sales will be eliminated in the second half of fiscal 2013 as the Frisco, Texas and Reading, Pennsylvania lead production capacity is taken off line.

The fiscal 2013 second quarter operating loss, excluding restructuring and impairment charges, was $0.6 million as compared to operating income of $7.4 million in the prior year second quarter. The decline is primarily the result of higher OE mix, lower fixed cost absorption and higher commodity costs.

Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2013 were $833.4 million as compared to $916.7 million for the same period of fiscal 2012 primarily due to price decreases as a result of lower average lead prices and unfavorable currency translation, partially offset by higher unit volumes to both aftermarket and OE customers. Operating loss, excluding restructuring and impairment charges, was ($6.0) million for the six months ended September 30, 2012 compared to $15.1 million in the same period of the prior year. The decline is the result of higher OE mix, lower fixed cost absorption and higher commodity costs.

Industrial Energy Segments

Fiscal 2013 second quarter total net sales for the Company's combined Industrial Energy segments was $287.5 million as compared to $301.0 million in the comparable fiscal 2012 period. Net sales were unfavorably impacted by foreign currency translation of ($18.5) million. Price decreases resulting from lead escalator agreements negatively impacted net sales by ($9.6) million in the fiscal 2013 second quarter as compared to the net sales reported in the same period of fiscal 2012. Fiscal 2013 second quarter operating income, excluding restructuring and impairment charges, was $15.7 million compared to $21.2 million in the prior year period.

Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2013 were $571.7 million as compared to $601.3 million for the same period of fiscal 2012. The decrease was due to price decreases resulting from lower average lead prices, unfavorable foreign currency translation, partially offset by improved volumes. Operating income, excluding restructuring and impairment charges, was $28.3 million for the six months ended September 30, 2012 compared to $34.6 million in the same period of the prior year. The decrease is primarily due to a higher mix of motive power OE sales in Europe as well as unfavorable lead recovery in the Americas.

Outlook

Bolch said, "We expect the normal seasonal nature of our business will result in higher revenue and substantially improved operating income in the second half of the fiscal year. This should be further supplemented by the combination of transportation aftermarket pricing and a better lead equation, assuming the cost of cores and LME lead pricing remain stable at the improved levels we saw in the month of October."

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

The Company defines Free Cash Flow as cash from operating activities less cash from investing activities, both as measured in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. We believe that Free Cash Flow provides useful information about the cash generated by our core operations after capital expenditures and the sale of non-core assets.

The foregoing non-GAAP financial measure should be used in addition to, but not in isolation or asa substitute for, the analysis provided in the Company's measures of financial performance prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP. The non-GAAP financial measure should be read only in conjunction with the Company's condensed consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.

 About Exide Technologies

Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company's four global business groups -- Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World -- provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.

Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.

Further information about Exide, including its financial results, are available at www.exide.com.

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Carol Knies
Senior Director, Investor Relations
Exide Technologies
678/566-9316 phone
carol.knies@exide.com
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