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Armstrong World Industries (AWI) Up 4.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Armstrong World Industries (AWI - Free Report) . Shares have added about 4.5% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Armstrong World Industries due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Armstrong World (AWI - Free Report) Q2 Earnings & Revenues Miss Estimates

Armstrong World Industries reported disappointing second-quarter 2020 results. Earnings and revenues missed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, as well as declined year over year.

The company announced the acquisition of a Chicago-based commercial interiors design house and maker of custom felt ceiling as well as wall solutions — Turf Design, Inc. Notably, the acquisition will strengthen design and manufacturing capabilities, and broaden its extensive portfolio of architectural specialties ceiling as well as wall solutions.

Earnings & Revenues Discussion

Armstrong World reported adjusted earnings of 75 cents per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents by 17.6% and declined 40.6% from $1.27 a year ago.

Net sales of $203.2 million also lagged the consensus mark of $220 million by 7.5% and fell 25.3% year over year. The decline was mainly due to lower volumes in both Mineral Fiber and Architectural Specialties segments due to COVID-19-induced lower market demand. Also, unfavorable Mineral Fiber AUV, driven by regional weakness in major metropolitan areas impacted by COVID-19, added to the woes.

Operational Update

Gross margin during the quarter came in at 33.4%, which contracted 460 basis points from the year-ago period. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of net sales, increased a whopping 250 bps year over year to 16.2%.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 36.3% from the prior-year quarter to $69 million, primarily due to lower volumes, partially offset by reduced SG&A expenses and improved manufacturing productivity.

Segmental Performance

Mineral Fiber: The segment’s sales were down 26.2% on a year-over-year basis to $157.9 million due to lower volume and unfavorable AUV.

Operating income also decreased 42.6% from the prior-year quarter, attributable to lower volumes, WAVE earnings and unfavorable AUV, partially offset by improved manufacturing productivity, higher Transition Service Agreement cost reimbursements, along with a reduction in incentive compensation expenses. Adjusted EBITDA also declined 34.8% from the prior-year quarter to $62 million.

Architectural Specialties: Net sales in the segment slid 21.8% year over year to $45.3 million due to lower demand across almost all product categories and geographies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The segment’s operating profit and adjusted EBITDA decreased 54.7% and 47.9% from the year-ago level, respectively. The downside mainly stemmed from lower sales volume and additional amortization expense related to acquisitions made in 2019.


As of Jun 30, 2020, Armstrong World had cash and cash equivalents of $117.1 million compared with $45.3 million at 2019-end. Net cash provided by operations was $78.7 million in past six months compared with $47 million in the comparable prior-year period.

The company’s free cash flow (on an adjusted basis) was $63 million compared with $55 million in the year-ago quarter.

Its board of directors authorized the buyback of additional shares of $500 million within the existing repurchase program and extended the term until 2023.

2020 Outlook

Considering sequential market improvement and no second wave of market shutdown, the company expects sales to be down 10-18% and adjusted EBITDA margins to be more than 35% for 2020. It anticipates generating a free cash flow margin of 22-25% this year.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision. The consensus estimate has shifted -24.2% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Armstrong World Industries has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. It's no surprise Armstrong World Industries has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

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