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A. O. Smith (AOS) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Sales in Line

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A. O. Smith Corporation (AOS - Free Report) has reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2021 results, wherein adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents. Also, the bottom line increased 87.5% from the year-ago figure of 32 cents.

Top-Line Details

The company’s first-quarter net sales increased 20.7% year over year to $769 million. The increase was driven by higher sales in North America and China. Notably, the top line matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

A.O. Smith’s quarterly sales in North America (comprising the U.S. and Canada water heaters and boilers) moved up 4% year over year to $552.9 million. The segment’s results were driven by higher sales of boilers, tankless water heaters, service parts as well as water treatment products.

Segmental operating earnings were up about 3% to $130.4 million on a year-over-year basis. The increase was on account of higher sales volume, partially offset by higher material and freight costs.

Quarterly sales in Rest of World (including China, India and Europe) grew more than 100% year over year to $222.3 million. The increase was primarily backed by higher consumer demand for all major product categories in China.

Operating earnings at the segment were $11.8 million against loss of $42.2 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. Higher sales volume and lower operating costs were beneficial to the segment’s income.

Margin Details

In the quarter, A.O. Smith’s cost of sales was $480.4 million, up 20.9% on a year-over-year basis. Selling, general & administrative expenses were $166.5 million, down 4.2%.

Gross profit increased 20.5% year over year to $288.6 million with margin of 37.5%, down 10 basis points. Interest expenses declined 54.5% to $1 million.

Liquidity & Cash Flow

On Mar 31, 2021, A.O. Smith’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $578.5 million compared with $573.1 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

At the end of the reported quarter, long-term debt was $99.6 million compared with $106.4 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

In the first three months of 2021, cash provided by the operating activities totaled $104.4 million compared with $54.1 million a year-ago.

Share Repurchases

In first-quarter 2021, the company repurchased shares worth $67 million, compared with $56.7 million repurchased in the year-ago quarter. It paid dividends worth $42.2 million compared with $39 million in the year-ago quarter.

Guidance

The company raised earnings guidance for 2021. It currently expects adjusted earnings of $2.55-$2.65, compared with $2.40-$2.50 guided previously. The mid-point reflects a year-over-year increase of 20.4%.

A. O. Smith Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

A. O. Smith Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

A. O. Smith Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | A. O. Smith Corporation Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks are Alcoa Corporation (AA - Free Report) , Lakeland Industries, Inc. (LAKE - Free Report) and Energy Recovery, Inc. (ERII - Free Report) . While Alcoa and Lakeland Industries currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Energy Recovery carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alcoa delivered a positive earnings surprise of 56.78%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Lakeland Industries delivered a positive earnings surprise of 230.73%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Energy Recovery delivered a positive earnings surprise of 232.08%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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