Magnetek: 2014 results
Magnetek, Inc. (“Magnetek” or “the Company,” NASDAQ: MAG) reported the results of its fourth quarter and 2014 fiscal year, ended December 28, 2014.
Fourth Quarter Results
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, Magnetek recorded revenue of $29.0 million, a 15% increase from the prior year fourth quarter sales of $25.2 million, primarily reflecting higher sales of products for material handling applications, which increased $2.5 million year-over-year to $21.2 million, and higher sales of products for elevator applications, which increased $0.7 million year-over-year to $6.0 million. In addition, the Company’s current year sales include $1.0 million of parts into renewable energy markets in the fourth quarter. Current year fourth quarter operating income was impacted by a previously disclosed unusual non-cash pension settlement charge of $37.1 million related to the Company’s lump sum window program (see Pension Update below).
“We experienced continuing strength in our end markets during the fourth quarter, manufacturing activity in the U.S. remained healthy, and we performed at a very high level in closing the fiscal year. Continued strong demand along with our focus on cost control and efficiency combined to deliver exceptional year-over-year gains in both gross profit and adjusted operating income,” said Peter McCormick, Magnetek’s president and chief executive officer.
Gross profit increased to $11.2 million (38.5% of sales) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 versus $8.7 million (34.3% of sales) in last year’s fourth quarter. Current year fourth quarter gross profit was favorably impacted by higher sales volume, a shift in sales mix toward higher dollar orders, and pricing actions on certain legacy products.
Total operating expenses, consisting of research and development (“R&D”), pension expense and selling, general and administrative costs, were $44.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, or $7.3 million on an adjusted non-GAAP basis excluding the pension settlement charge, compared to $7.7 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Compared to the prior year, current year fourth quarter operating expenses reflect lower normalized pension expense, partially offset by R&D spending and higher incentive compensation provisions.
On a GAAP basis, the current year fourth quarter operating loss was $33.3 million. Adjusted operating income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, excluding the pension settlement charge (non-GAAP), was $3.8 million compared to $1.0 million for the same period last year. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a loss from continuing operations after provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter of $33.4 million, or a loss of $9.44 per share, compared to income of $0.7 million, or $.22 per share, in the same period last year. Excluding the pension settlement charge, adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations (non-GAAP) totaled $1.01 on a per share basis.
Including the results of discontinued operations, the Company recorded a net loss of $9.57 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 versus $.11 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Excluding the pension settlement charge, adjusted diluted earnings (non-GAAP) totaled $.88 on a per share basis.
Unrestricted cash balances decreased by $2.5 million during the fourth quarter to $9.7 million at December 28, 2014, after cash contributions of $7.9 million during the quarter to the Company’s defined benefit pension plan. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company elected to voluntarily contribute $3.8 million to the pension plan which was scheduled to be contributed in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. As a result, the Company is not required to make any mandatory contributions to the pension plan during fiscal 2015.
Fiscal Year 2014 Results
For fiscal year 2014, the Company recorded revenue of $109.7 million, up 6.2% from $103.3 million in fiscal year 2013. The sales increase was mainly due to higher sales of products for material handling applications, which increased $4.3 million, or 5.6% year-over-year, to $80.8 million. In addition, sales of products for elevator applications increased $1.3 million, or 6.0% year-over-year, to $23.6 million. Sales of inverter assemblies and parts for renewable energy applications also increased $0.9 to $1.7 million as the Company continued to support its installed base of inverters operating in wind turbines. Fiscal 2014 gross profit amounted to nearly $40.0 million (36.4% of sales) versus $35.3 million (34.2% of sales) in fiscal 2013. The year-over-year increase in gross profit and gross margin as a percentage of sales was mainly related to higher sales volume, improved mix, cost control, and selective pricing actions.
Total operating expenses were $65.7 million in fiscal 2014, or $28.6 million on an adjusted non-GAAP basis excluding the pension settlement charge, compared to $30.6 million in fiscal 2013. Compared to the prior year, current year operating expenses reflect lower normalized pension expense, partially offset by higher incentive compensation provisions.
On a GAAP basis, the Company reported an operating loss of $25.7 million for fiscal 2014. Adjusted operating income for fiscal 2014, excluding the pension settlement charge (non-GAAP), was $11.4 million compared to operating income of $4.8 million for fiscal 2013. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a fiscal 2014 loss from continuing operations after provision for income taxes of $26.4 million, or a loss of $7.89 per share, compared to income of $3.8 million, or $1.13 per share, for fiscal 2013. Excluding the pension settlement charge, adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations (non-GAAP) totaled $2.91 on a per share basis.
Including the results of discontinued operations, the Company recorded a net loss per share of $8.13 for fiscal 2014 versus earnings per share of $.94 in fiscal 2013. Excluding the pension settlement charge, adjusted diluted earnings (non-GAAP) totaled $2.67 on a per share basis.
Cash balances decreased during fiscal 2014 by $5.3 million, after cash contributions of $19.1 million to the Company’s pension plan.
“We continued to focus on organic growth while maximizing profitability and cash flow during 2014. Conditions in our end markets were conducive to growth for most of 2014, and we experienced increasing demand and growing sales as the year progressed. In addition, our sales mix in 2014 shifted to include several large scale projects. We implemented a number of actions in terms of pricing, repositioning, and cost reductions late in 2013 and into early 2014 to better assure acceptable levels of profit at that time. We retained discipline in terms of spending as our sales increased, which resulted in significant operating leverage in the business and exceptional profitability over the past few quarters. We also generated sufficient cash to fund our organic growth initiatives and meet our pension obligations,” said Mr. McCormick. “Regarding our pension, we contributed $19 million in cash and $7 million in Company common stock to plan assets during the year in an effort to further improve the funded status of the plan, and we again made meaningful progress toward that goal during fiscal 2014. As a result, we expect the improvement in our pension to favorably impact our earnings and cash flow going forward,” continued Mr. McCormick.
Operations and Outlook
Total bookings of $27.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were up more than 3% over the prior year fourth quarter, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio for the quarter of 94%. Total Company order backlog was $12.7 million at December 28, 2014.
“Recent economic data appear mixed, as the economy in the U.S. grew in the fourth quarter, but not as strongly as expected. In addition, commodity prices continued to fall and the US dollar gained strength. Nearly 90 percent of our revenues are US-based, so we have little direct exposure to currency issues and global end market conditions, however, our customer and end-user base does include some larger, multi-national industrial companies,” said Mr. McCormick. “Currently our business remains with solid momentum heading into 2015. However, historically our first quarter has been the weakest quarter of the year due to seasonal buying patterns of our customers, mainly in material handling. We typically experience sequential sales declines in the first quarter of the year in the range of 10 to 15 percent, and we expect that to be the case in 2015 as well. Looking beyond that, our growth initiatives in 2015 remain centered on a combination of innovative product offerings, market share gains, and entry into new markets,” continued Mr. McCormick.
“In material handling, we’ve continued to see our quotation log for larger projects increase over the past couple of quarters, and we expect that to continue in 2015. We expect our radio business to grow not only from material handling applications, but also from share gains in other markets such as fluid power. We’re targeting increases in our share of energy-saving controls for the elevator market, and in the mining area, we continue to invest to reduce our dependence on the coal industry and expand geographically, but those efforts are typically longer-term in nature. In summary, we continue to believe that we have great opportunities to continue to increase the value of the Company through a combination of organic sales growth, reliable and consistent profitability and cash flow, and additional reductions in our pension obligation,” concluded Mr. McCormick.
Magnetek has an underfunded defined benefit pension plan that was frozen in 2003. Based mainly on the declining interest rate environment over the past decade, the Company has an underfunded pension liability, and annual pension expense and required contributions to the pension plan have been significant for the past several years.
During 2014, in an effort to reduce the size, volatility, mortality risk, and costs of the pension plan, the Company offered a lump sum payout of pension benefits (a “lump sum window”) to 2,970 eligible deferred vested participants. The program, which was funding-neutral, was completed in December 2014. A total of 2,230 participants, or 75%, elected the lump sum option, with a total amount of $46.9 million paid out of pension plan assets. The Company’s pension liability was reduced by a similar amount.
Upon completion of the lump sum window, the Company recorded a one-time, non-cash settlement charge of $37.1 million as a component of pension expense in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The settlement charge represents accelerated amortization of actuarial pension losses which were recorded on the Company’s balance sheet in accumulated other comprehensive loss as a reduction in stockholders’ equity. These losses would otherwise have been amortized to the income statement over time as a component of future pension expense. The settlement charge had no impact on the Company’s cash flow or financial position and is expected to reduce future pension expense. The lump sum window is also expected to reduce the costs of potential future annuitization of the pension plan.
The Company’s non-cash pension expense for fiscal 2014, excluding the settlement charge, was $3.3 million, while the Company’s cash contributions to the pension plan were $19.1 million. In addition, in September 2014, the Company contributed 250,000 shares of its common stock to the pension plan, valued at nearly $7.4 million at the date of the contribution. Returns on pension plan assets during fiscal 2014 were 10.3%, better than the expected return rate of 7.75%, which favorably impacted the Company’s year-end pension plan measurement. At the same time, interest rates decreased throughout the year and the Company adopted a more conservative mortality table as recommended by the Society of Actuaries late in 2014, both of which unfavorably impacted the Company’s year-end pension plan measurement. As of the end of fiscal 2014, the Company measured its pension plan for accounting purposes using a discount rate assumption of 3.55%, down from 4.45% at the end of fiscal 2013. The combination of Company contributions and better-than-expected returns on pension plan assets, partially offset by the lower discount rate and adoption of the new mortality table, resulted in a $21 million decrease in the Company’s pension liability as of December 28, 2014, to $27 million. The pension liability entering fiscal 2014 was $48 million.
“We certainly had an active and dynamic year in dealing with our pension issues in fiscal 2014. At the macro level, we experienced volatile financial markets, a declining interest rate environment, and the issuance of updated mortality tables that reflect longer life expectancy assumptions. In terms of our pension plan, we not only made $15 million of required cash contributions for 2014, but we also prefunded our 2015 mandatory contributions of nearly $4 million. We also made a voluntary stock contribution of $7 million, and executed a successful lump sum window program,” said Marty Schwenner, Magnetek’s chief financial officer. “It’s very encouraging that we were able to achieve a fairly sizable year-over-year reduction in our pension liability despite the negative effects of falling interest rates and the adoption of updated mortality tables. We’re also projecting some favorable developments for future earnings and cash flows, given that both pension expense and pension funding amounts for the next several years appear to be converging at much lower amounts. As a result, we should begin generating taxable income in 2015 and beyond, and could then begin to utilize our substantial net operating loss carry-forward tax benefits. Looking ahead, we intend to continue to explore creative and opportunistic actions aimed at reducing both the size of our pension plan and the related risks to the Company, which in turn could further enhance the value of our Company,” concluded Mr. Schwenner.
Non-cash GAAP pension expense for fiscal 2015 is expected to total $2.0 million, a decrease of approximately $1.3 million from fiscal 2014 pension expense levels, which represents an improvement in earnings of approximately $.34 on a per share basis. From a funding standpoint, the Company is not required to make any mandatory contributions to the pension plan in fiscal 2015, while projected contributions for fiscal 2016 through and 2019 are currently estimated at $2 million to $3 million annually.
Marty Schwenner, 262-703-4282