Univar Solutions Inc. ( UNVR Quick Quote UNVR - Free Report) recorded profits (on a reported basis) of $66.2 million or 39 cents per share in first-quarter 2021, up from $55.9 million or 33 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Barring one-time items, earnings per share were 43 cents, up from 35 cents in the year-ago quarter. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents. The company’s revenues were $2,155.4 million in the quarter, down around 3% year over year. Sales were hurt by reduced bulk commodity chemical pricing, energy headwinds and the exit of the Canadian Agriculture wholesale distribution business that more than offset the impact of chemical price inflation.
Revenues in the USA division fell around 5% year over year to $1,293 million in the quarter. The decline was due to lower bulk commodity chemical pricing and energy headwinds. Gross profit fell around 2% year over year.
The EMEA segment raked in revenues of $505.9 million, up roughly 10% year over year. Sales were driven by increased industrial end market demand and chemical price inflation. Gross profit was up roughly 11% year over year. Revenues in the Canada segment went down around 22% year over year to $222.7 million. The decline was mainly due to the Canadian Agriculture wholesale distribution exit and the divestiture of Canadian Agriculture services. Gross profit fell roughly 9% year over year. Revenues from the LATAM unit rose roughly 24% to $133.8 million, driven by increased demand for products in industrial solutions and chemical price inflation. Gross profit also increased around 36% year over year. Financials
Univar ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $141.4 million, a roughly 63% year-over-year decline. Long-term debt was $2,393 million, down around 16% year over year.
Net cash used by operating activities was $92.3 million in the first quarter. Outlook
The company now expects adjusted EBITDA for 2021 to be $680-$700 million, up from the prior view of $630-$650 million. It also sees adjusted EBITDA to be in the band of $180-$190 million for second-quarter 2021. Net free cash flow for the year is also forecast in a band of $280-$300 million. Univar expects an improvement in volumes on the reopening of the North America and European economies.
Univar is also actively managing its expenses to maintain its financial strength. It expects to achieve $120 million in annual Nexeo net synergies by early 2022. Price Performance
Univar’s shares have gained 70.2% over a year compared with 74.9% rise recorded by the
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Univar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)
Better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Nucor Corporation ( NUE Quick Quote NUE - Free Report) , Dow Inc. ( DOW Quick Quote DOW - Free Report) and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited ( IMPUY Quick Quote IMPUY - Free Report) . Nucor has a projected earnings growth rate of 228.4% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied around 143% in a year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Dow has a projected earnings growth rate of 261.5% for the current year. The company’s shares have shot up around 104% in a year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. Impala Platinum has an expected earnings growth rate of 197.6% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged around 253% in the past year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021
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