Universal Stainless & Alloy (USAP) Tops Q4 EPS by 10c, Revenues Miss
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Universal Stainless & Alloy (NASDAQ: USAP) reported Q4 EPS of ($0.52), $0.10 better than the analyst estimate of ($0.62). Revenue for the quarter came in at $31.3 million versus the consensus estimate of $35.51 million.
- Total debt reduced by $10.4 million and managed working capital declined by $19.2 million from Q3 2020
- Q4 2020 Sales total $31.3 million; Premium alloy sales represent 19.1% of total Q4 sales
- Q4 2020 Net Loss of $7.3 million, or $0.83 per diluted share; Net loss is $4.6 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, excluding $3.8 million (pre-tax) of fixed cost absorption charges, a $0.3 million (pre-tax) loss on the sale of excess scrap and $0.7 million (pre-tax) gain on insurance proceeds
- EBITDA is a loss of $3.9 million in Q4 2020; Adjusted EBITDA is a loss of $0.2 million
- Quarter-end Backlog of $48.0 million versus $54.8 million at end of Q3 2020
Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Oates commented: “The fourth quarter was a challenging quarter as expected, and we continued to operate at low activity levels, which negatively impacted profitability. Our focus on liquidity continued, with positive results, as we achieved our cash targets and reduced debt by more than $10 million. While our revenues were down from the third quarter, our bookings activity improved.
“Despite the challenging environment, we continue to see positive results within areas of our control, including increased efficiency of our operations as well as our quality programs. These favorable activities will allow for increased facility capacity and provide benefit as volumes increase. Most importantly, our safety performance, as measured by our OSHA recordable rate, marked a record low in 2020.
“The pandemic continued to limit air travel worldwide and airlines reduced new plane orders, ultimately depressing aerospace product demand. We did see a bright spot with the return to service of the Boeing 737-MAX, which should begin to benefit new aircraft production into 2022 and 2023. Within the oil and gas markets, customers remain reluctant to place orders even with the rise in oil prices and rig counts.
“Demand in the Heavy Equipment market was strong in the fourth quarter, especially for our products used in auto production and metals fabrication. Plate bookings have also remained strong. Growth in our General Industrial end market was especially strong in the quarter, led by semiconductor demand. In fact, sales to that end market for the quarter were at a near record level, and that strength is expected to continue in the coming months.
“We saw positive signs in our order entry in the fourth quarter, which has increased each quarter from its 2020 low point in the second quarter. Cancellations further slowed and were at their lowest level in 2020. Fourth quarter premium alloy bookings also improved and were at the highest levels since the 2020 first quarter, with ongoing demand for defense and specialty applications.
“Fourth quarter margins continued to be negatively impacted by lower activity levels and included fixed cost absorption direct charges. Margins were also negatively impacted by a $0.3 million loss on the sale of excess scrap, although that generated cash receipts of $0.7 million. Product mix was less favorable in the quarter due to lower shipments of premium alloys.
“Our continued focus on working capital reduction in the fourth quarter resulted in continued reductions in inventory and debt levels. Both inventory and debt further declined from the third quarter, with inventory reduced by $9.6 million, and debt reduced by $10.4 million. For the full year, inventory has been reduced by $36.0 million and total debt is down $24.2 million, excluding PPP funds. We also tightly controlled our fourth quarter capital spend, limiting expenditures to $0.7 million.
“Looking forward in 2021, we continue to expect measured improvement in activity levels as we move through the year, starting slowly in the first quarter. We will be focused on our strategic growth initiatives, which include strategic capital investment in our premium alloy production assets, including adding a vacuum arc remelt furnace and an 18-ton crucible to expand our capabilities and reduce costs.”
Mr. Oates concluded: “Once again I want to commend our team for their efforts and the results they achieved during a prolonged period of difficult challenges. With the support of our customers and our commitment to producing the critical products required by our markets, we are fully focused on making tangible progress in 2021.”
For earnings history and earnings-related data on Universal Stainless & Alloy (USAP) click here.
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