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Univar's (UNVR) Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates in Q4

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Univar Solutions Inc. (UNVR - Free Report) recorded a loss (on a reported basis) of $33.7 million or 20 cents per share in fourth-quarter 2020, narrower than a loss of $55.1 million or 33 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Barring one-time items, earnings per share were 27 cents, down from 29 cents in the year-ago quarter. However, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents.

The company’s revenues were $2,035.4 million in the quarter, down around 6% year over year. It also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,022.9 million.

Sales were hurt by reduced demand in global industrial end markets, lower sales due to the Environmental Sciences divestiture as well as price deflation affecting specific products.

Univar Solutions Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Univar Solutions Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Univar Solutions Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Univar Solutions Inc. Quote


Segment Review

Revenues in the USA division fell around 10% year over year to $1,242.8 million in the quarter. The decline was due to lower industrial end market demand, the Environmental Sciences divestiture, price deflation and energy headwinds. These were partly offset by higher demand for products in essential end markets. Gross profit fell around 9% year over year.

The EMEA segment raked in revenues of $428.6 million, up roughly 2% year over year. Higher demand in certain essential markets was offset by reduced industrial and end market demand. Gross profit was up roughly 5% year over year.

Revenues in the Canada segment went up around 1% year over year to $259 million. Sales from the Canadian Agriculture wholesale distribution and industrial chemicals were offset by lower energy demand, the Environmental Sciences divestiture and price deflation. Gross profit fell roughly 10% year over year.

Revenues from the LATAM unit declined roughly 1% to $124.2 million as increased demand for products in industrial solutions was masked by the addition of Brazil VAT recovery benefit in the prior year. Gross profit also dropped around 24% year over year.

FY20 Results

Earnings (as reported) for full-year 2020 were 31 cents per share, compared with a loss of 61 cents per share a year ago. Revenues dropped roughly 11% year over year to $8,265 million for the full year.


Univar ended 2020 with cash and cash equivalents of $386.6 million, a 17% year-over-year rise. Long-term debt was $2,477.1 million, down around 8% year over year.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $145.3 million in the fourth quarter, down roughly 56% year over year.


The company expects adjusted EBITDA for 2021 to be $630-$650 million. It also sees adjusted EBITDA to be in the band of $150-$160 million for first-quarter 2021.

Univar is also actively managing its expenses and reducing costs to maintain its financial strength. These savings represented more than $20 million in cost reductions for 2020, which are incremental to the net synergies achieved from the Nexeo acquisition of $46 million. It expects to achieve $120 million in annual Nexeo net synergies by early 2022.

Price Performance

Univar’s shares have gained 12.5% over a year compared with 32.2% rise recorded by the industry.



Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Univar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (IMPUY - Free Report) , Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FSUGY - Free Report) and BHP Group (BHP - Free Report) .

Impala Platinum has an expected earnings growth rate of 195.9% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have rallied around 69% in the past year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Fortescue has a projected earnings growth rate of 84.3% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged around 184% in a year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

BHP Group has a projected earnings growth rate of 65.6% for the current fiscal year. The company’s shares have shot up around 71% in a year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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