Grace Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Adjusted EPS of $1.11 and Provides 2013 Earnings Outlook

Grace Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Adjusted EPS of $1.11 and Provides 2013 Earnings Outlook

  • Sales volumes and base pricing increased 8 percent
  • Sales in emerging regions increased 16 percent
  • Adjusted EBIT increased 23 percent
  • GAAP EPS loss of $1.48 due to non-cash adjustment to asbestos-related liability
  • 2013 outlook for Adjusted EBIT in the range of $560 to $580 million

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- W. R. Grace & Co. (NYS: GRA) announced a fourth quarter net loss of $111.6 million, or $1.48 per diluted share. The loss was due to a $365.0 million non-cash charge recorded in the quarter to adjust the company's asbestos-related liability as previously announced on January 24, 2013. Net income for the prior-year quarter was $58.1 million, or $0.77 per diluted share. Adjusted EPS for the 2012 fourth quarter was $1.11 per diluted share compared with $0.89 per diluted share for the prior-year quarter.

Net income for the full year ended December 31, 2012, was $94.1 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, compared with $269.4 million, or $3.57 per diluted share for the prior year. Adjusted EPS for the full year was $4.17 per diluted share compared with $3.94 per diluted share for the prior year.


"I am pleased with our strong finish to the year," stated Fred Festa, Grace's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "All three operating segments demonstrated solid organic growth and strong increases in operating earnings. This performance, combined with our disciplined expense control, allowed us to improve margins and stay on track with our longer-term earnings goals."

Fourth Quarter Results

Fourth quarter sales of $797.8 million declined 3.4 percent compared with the prior-year quarter as higher sales volumes (+5.7 percent) and improved base pricing (+2.1 percent) were offset by lower rare earth surcharges (-9.2 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-2.0 percent). Sales in emerging regions represented 39.1 percent of sales and grew 16.1 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Acquisitions, net of divestitures, contributed $3.0 million (+0.4 percent) to sales in the quarter.

Gross profit of $300.3 million increased 4.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Gross margin of 37.6 percent increased 270 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter, exceeding the top-end of the company's target range of 35 to 37 percent.

Adjusted EBIT of $133.4 million increased 23.3 percent compared with $108.2 million in the prior-year quarter. The increase was due to higher segment operating income in all three operating segments and lower corporate expenses. Adjusted EBIT margin improved to 16.7 percent compared with 13.1 percent in the prior-year quarter.

Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital was 36.3 percent on a trailing four-quarter basis, compared with 35.4 percent for the prior year. The increase in Adjusted EBIT Return On Invested Capital primarily was due to higher earnings and improved working capital.

Full Year Results

Sales for the full year ended December 31, 2012, decreased 1.8 percent to $3.16 billion as improved base pricing (+4.1 percent) and higher sales volumes (+2.9 percent) were offset by lower rare earth surcharges (-5.3 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-3.5 percent). Sales in emerging regions represented 37.0 percent of sales and grew 15.2 percent compared with the prior year.

Gross profit of $1.17 billion increased 0.4 percent compared with the prior year. Gross margin of 37.0 percent increased 80 basis points compared with the prior year.

Adjusted EBIT was $517.4 million, an increase of 8.1 percent compared with the prior year. The improvement in Adjusted EBIT was due to improved pricing, higher sales volumes and lower expenses.

Catalysts Technologies

Sales down 10.7 percent; segment operating income up 5.9 percent

Fourth quarter sales for the Catalysts Technologies operating segment, which includes specialty catalysts and additives for refinery, plastics and other chemical process applications, were $328.3 million, a decrease of 10.7 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to lower rare earth surcharges (-20.6 percent) and unfavorable currency translation (-1.8 percent), which more than offset increased sales volumes (+8.0 percent) and improved base pricing (+3.7 percent).

Sales volumes and base pricing of FCC catalysts increased approximately 12 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Double-digit percentage increases in polypropylene catalyst sales offset lower polyethylene catalyst sales.

Segment gross margin was 41.0 percent compared with 38.0 percent in the prior-year quarter. The increase in gross margin primarily was due to improved base pricing and lower unit manufacturing costs resulting from increased operating leverage and productivity initiatives.

Segment operating income was $102.6 million compared with $96.9 million in the prior-year quarter. Segment operating margin was 31.3 percent, an increase of 490 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter.

Materials Technologies

Sales up 2.7 percent; segment operating income up 20.3 percent

Fourth quarter sales for the Materials Technologies operating segment, which includes packaging technologies and engineered materials for consumer, industrial, coatings and pharmaceutical applications, were $210.1 million compared with $204.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The 2.7 percent increase was due to higher sales volumes (+5.0 percent) and improved pricing (+0.9 percent) which more than offset unfavorable currency translation (-3.2 percent).

Sales in emerging regions, which represented 43.1 percent of sales, grew 6.8 percent largely due to strong sales in developing Asian countries, including China.

Segment gross margin was 34.3 percent compared with 31.9 percent in the prior-year quarter. The increase in gross margin was due to increased operating leverage and lower manufacturing costs.

Segment operating income was $39.7 million, an increase of 20.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Segment operating margin was 18.9 percent, an increase of 280 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter.

Construction Products

Sales up 2.3 percent; segment operating income up 53.3 percent

Fourth quarter sales for the Construction Products operating segment, which includes specialty construction chemicals and specialty building materials used in commercial, infrastructure and residential construction, were $259.4 million, an increase of 2.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter. Higher sales volumes (+2.8 percent) and improved pricing (+0.8 percent) were offset partially by unfavorable currency translation (-1.3 percent). The acquisition of Rheoset Industria during the third quarter contributed $7.9 million to sales, which more than offset a $4.9 million decrease in sales due to the 2011 divesture of the vermiculite business.

Sales of Construction Products in emerging regions, which represented 37.0 percent of sales, increased 20.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter due to strong sales in Latin America, the Middle East and emerging Asia. Sales in North America, which represented 38.6 percent of sales, decreased 4.1 percent due to lower sales of specialty building materials, primarily residential reroofing products. Sales of specialty construction chemicals in North America increased approximately 9 percent. Sales in Western Europe, which represented 13.6 percent of sales, decreased 17.6 percent compared with the prior-year quarter due to unfavorable currency translation and the continuing weak construction environment.

Segment gross margin of 36.1 percent increased 340 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter primarily due to improved raw material cost recovery, operating leverage and a favorable sales mix comparison between the acquired and divested businesses.

Segment operating income of $32.5 million increased 53.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter primarily due to improved gross margin. Segment operating margin improved to 12.5 percent, an increase of 410 basis points compared with the prior-year quarter.

Other Expenses

Total corporate expenses of $23.4 million decreased 13.3 percent compared with the prior-year quarter, due to cost reduction initiatives in 2012 and legal and licensing costs in the prior-year quarter.

Defined benefit pension expense for the fourth quarter was $18.0 million compared with $15.9 million for the prior-year quarter. The 13.2 percent increase primarily was due to year-over-year changes in actuarial assumptions including lower discount rates and a lower expected long-term rate of return on plan assets.

Interest expense was $12.4 million for the fourth quarter compared with $10.8 million for the prior-year quarter. The annualized weighted average interest rate on pre-petition obligations for the fourth quarter was 3.6 percent.

Income Taxes

Grace recorded a tax benefit of $139.3 million in the fourth quarter, reflecting a $135.3 million tax benefit from the $365.0 million asbestos-related charge and a $44.0 million tax benefit resulting from the release of valuation allowances on state deferred tax assets.

Cash Flow

Net cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2012, was $453.6 million compared with $219.4 million in the prior year. The improved cash flow was due to reduced working capital requirements and lower pension contributions.

Adjusted Free Cash Flow was $421.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared with $278.4 million in the prior year.

2013 Outlook

As of February 6, 2013, Grace expects 2013 Adjusted EBIT to be in the range of $560 million to $580 million, an increase of 8 to 12 percent compared with 2012 Adjusted EBIT of $517.4 million. The company expects 2013 Adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $685 million to $705 million.

The following assumptions are components of Grace's 2013 outlook:

  • Consolidated sales in the range of $3.2-$3.3 billion with organic growth of 6-8 percent offset by headwinds of approximately $120 million due to lower rare earth- related pricing and unfavorable currency;
  • Gross margin in the range of 36-38 percent;
  • Adjusted EBIT margin improvement of approximately 100 basis points;
  • Capital expenditures in the range of $180-200 million;
  • Adjusted Free Cash Flow greater than $400 million;
  • A book effective tax rate of 34.0 percent and a cash tax rate of 14.0 percent; and
  • Diluted shares outstanding at year end of approximately 78 million.

Although Grace adjusted the recorded value of its asbestos-related liability in the 2012 fourth quarter, the ultimate cost of settling this liability will be based on the value of the consideration transferred to the asbestos trusts at emergence and may vary from the current estimate. Therefore, Grace is unable to make a final estimate of the income effects of the consummation of the Joint Plan of Reorganization (the "Joint Plan"). When the Joint Plan is consummated, Grace expects to reduce its liabilities subject to compromise, including asbestos-related contingencies, recognize the value of the deferred payments and the warrant and recognize expense for the costs of consummating the Joint Plan and the income tax effects of these items.

Chapter 11 Proceedings

On April 2, 2001, Grace and 61 of its United States subsidiaries and affiliates, including its primary U.S. operating subsidiary, W. R. Grace & Co.-Conn., filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in order to resolve Grace's asbestos-related liabilities.

On January 31, 2011, the Bankruptcy Court issued an order confirming Grace's Joint Plan. On January 31, 2012, the United States District Court issued an order affirming the Joint Plan, which was reaffirmed on June 11, 2012 following a motion for reconsideration. Five parties have appeals pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The timing of Grace's emergence from Chapter 11 will depend on the satisfaction or waiver of the remaining conditions set forth in the Joint Plan. The Joint Plan sets forth how all pre-petition claims and demands against Grace will be resolved. See Grace's most recent periodic reports filed with the SEC for a detailed description of the Joint Plan.

Investor Call

Grace will discuss these results during an investor conference call and webcast today starting at 11:00 a.m. ET. To access the call and webcast, interested participants should go to the Investor Information - Investor Presentations portion of the company's web site, www.grace.com, and click on the webcast link.

Those without access to the Internet can listen to the investor call by dialing +1.800.901.5226 (international callers dial +1.617.786.4513) and entering conference ID 22134034. Investors are advised to access the call at least ten minutes early in order to register. An audio replay will be available at 1:00 p.m. ET on February 6 and will be accessible by dialing +1.888.286.8010 (international callers dial +1.617.801.6888) and entering conference call ID 73622027. The replay will be available for one week.

About Grace

Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and, specialty construction chemicals and building materials. The company's three industry-leading business segments—Grace Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies and Grace Construction Products—provide innovative products, technologies and services that enhance the quality of life. Grace employs approximately 6,000 people in over 40 countries and had 2012 net sales of $3.2 billion. More information about Grace is available at www.grace.com.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements, that is, information related to future, not past, events. Such statements generally include the words "believes," "plans," "intends," "targets," "will," "expects," "suggests," "anticipates," "outlook," "continues" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, all statements regarding Grace's Chapter 11 case; expected financial positions; results of operations; cash flows; financing plans; business strategy; budgets; capital and other expenditures; competitive positions; growth opportunities for existing products; benefits from new technology and cost reduction initiatives, plans and objectives; and markets for securities. For these statements, Grace claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Like other businesses, Grace is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from its projections or that could cause other forward-looking statements to prove incorrect. Factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: developments affecting Grace's bankruptcy, proposed plan of reorganization and settlements with certain creditors, the cost and availability of raw materials (including rare earth) and energy, developments affecting Grace's underfunded and unfunded pension obligations, risks related to foreign operations, especially in emerging regions, acquisitions and divestitures of assets and gains and losses from dispositions or impairments, the effectiveness of its research and development and growth investments, its legal and environmental proceedings, costs of compliance with environmental regulation and those factors set forth in Grace's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly report on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are readily available on the Internet at www.sec.gov . Reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on Grace's projections and forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. Grace undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revision to the projections and forward-looking statements contained in this announcement, or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this announcement.

   
W. R. Grace & Co. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)
 
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,

(In millions, except per share amounts)

2012   2011 2012   2011
Net sales $ 797.8 $ 825.6 $ 3,155.5 $ 3,211.9
Cost of goods sold 497.5   537.7   1,989.2   2,050.6  
Gross profit 300.3 287.9 1,166.3 1,161.3
Selling, general and administrative expenses 136.2 144.4 537.5 568.4
Restructuring expenses and related asset impairments 0.5 5.9 6.9 6.9
Research and development expenses 16.6 19.4 64.5 68.5
Defined benefit pension expense 18.0 15.9 71.2 63.4
Interest expense and related financing costs 12.4 10.8 46.5 43.3
Provision for environmental remediation 1.8 16.2 3.6 17.8
Chapter 11 expenses, net of interest income 4.0 3.1 16.6 20.0
Libby medical program settlement 19.6
Provision for asbestos-related contingencies 365.0 365.0
Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliate (4.7 ) (2.0 ) (18.5 ) (15.2 )
Other (income) expense, net 1.6   3.9   (4.4 ) 4.7  
Total costs and expenses 551.4   217.6   1,108.5   777.8  
Income (loss) before income taxes (251.1 ) 70.3 57.8 383.5
Benefit from (provision for) income taxes 139.3   (12.2 ) 37.3   (114.7 )
Net income (loss) (111.8 ) 58.1 95.1 268.8
Less: Net loss (income) attributable to noncontrolling interests 0.2     (1.0 ) 0.6  
Net income (loss) attributable to W. R. Grace & Co. shareholders $ (111.6 ) $ 58.1   $ 94.1   $ 269.4  
Earnings Per Share Attributable to W. R. Grace & Co. Shareholders
Basic earnings per share:
Net income (loss) attributable to W. R. Grace & Co. shareholders $ (1.48 ) $ 0.79 $ 1.26 $ 3.66
Weighted average number of basic shares 75.4 73.8 74.9 73.6
Diluted earnings per share:
Net income (loss) attributable to W. R. Grace & Co. shareholders $ (1.48 ) $ 0.77 $ 1.23 $ 3.57
Weighted average number of diluted shares 75.4 75.7 76.3 75.5
 

The Notes to the Financial Statements are included as part of the Earnings Release.

   
W. R. Grace & Co. and Subsidiaries
Analysis of Operations (unaudited)
 
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,

(In millions, except per share amounts)

2012   2011   % Change 2012   2011   % Change
Net sales:
Catalysts Technologies $ 328.3 $ 367.5 (10.7 )% $ 1,268.1 $ 1,347.3 (5.9 )%
Materials Technologies 210.1 204.5 2.7 % 862.6 872.6 (1.1 )%
Construction Products 259.4   253.6   2.3 % 1,024.8   992.0   3.3 %
Total Grace net sales $ 797.8   $ 825.6   (3.4 )% $ 3,155.5   $ 3,211.9   (1.8 )%
Net sales by region:
North America $ 235.9 $ 253.6 (7.0 )% $ 967.6 $ 1,041.8 (7.1 )%
Europe Middle East Africa 295.8 325.8 (9.2 )% 1,175.6 1,260.4 (6.7 )%
Asia Pacific 170.2 163.4 4.2 % 660.3 599.3 10.2 %
Latin America 95.9   82.8   15.8 % 352.0   310.4   13.4 %
Total net sales by region $ 797.8   $ 825.6   (3.4 )% $ 3,155.5   $ 3,211.9   (1.8 )%
Profitability performance measures:
Adjusted EBIT(A)(B)(C):
Catalysts Technologies segment operating income $ 102.6 $ 96.9 5.9 % $ 393.8 $ 388.8 1.3 %
Materials Technologies segment operating income 39.7 33.0 20.3 % 162.0 158.7 2.1 %
Construction Products segment operating income 32.5 21.2 53.3 % 125.2 97.3 28.7 %
Corporate support functions (including performance based compensation) (15.5

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