Quaker Chemical (KWR) Tops Q4 EPS by 6c, Revenues Miss

February 28, 2019 4:55 PM EST

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Quaker Chemical (NYSE: KWR) reported Q4 EPS of $1.51, $0.06 better than the analyst estimate of $1.45. Revenue for the quarter came in at $211.5 million versus the consensus estimate of $216.82 million.

Michael F. Barry, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, "We are pleased with our fourth quarter and full year results despite several market challenges, including foreign exchange headwinds. Another challenge we faced was a slowdown in our automotive markets in Europe and China, especially towards the end of the quarter. We estimate that the global industrial markets we serve were relatively flat for the quarter while we achieved volume growth of 2% due to our continued market share gains. Also, our gross margin of 35.4% was above the prior year\'s gross margin of 35.1%. While we previously expected our fourth quarter gross margin to be in the low 36% range, it was impacted by higher costs, largely related to manufacturing, which we do not expect to repeat in the same magnitude going forward. Despite these challenges, we finished the quarter with strong non-GAAP earnings growth of 19% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017."

Mr. Barry continued, "For the first quarter of 2019, we continue to expect foreign exchange headwinds and some challenges in our base markets, especially China and EMEA automotive. However, we anticipate our gross margins will be in the 36% range and we expect to continue to take market share to help offset these market challenges. For full year 2019, we also expect Quaker to show good overall adjusted EBITDA growth, despite these market headwinds. With respect to the Houghton combination, we continue to be in productive discussions with the FTC for a proposed remedy, although the previous shutdown of the U.S. government has delayed the process. Based on what we know today, we estimate that the FTC's final approval and closing of the combination will occur within the next few months. Overall, I continue to be confident in our future given our continued ability to achieve market share gains that will help offset challenges in our markets, and I remain excited for the future benefits we will achieve through our upcoming combination with Houghton."

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Quaker Chemical (KWR) click here.

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