Energizer Holdings, Inc. ( ENR Quick Quote ENR - Free Report) posted sturdy second-quarter fiscal 2021 results, with the top and the bottom line increasing year on year and surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results benefitted from growth across the company’s segments, resulting from favorable consumer demand. The company delivered robust performance at all categories and geographies. Management is focused on boosting the top line and margins, in addition to achieving operational excellence. Markedly, the company is on track to generate synergies of above $120 million by the end of fiscal 2021. Adjusted earnings came in at 77 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents and grew more than doubled from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 37 cents. The bottom line gained from growth in organic sales, synergy realization, favorable currency and reduced interest expense. The upsides were slightly offset by increased selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses and advertising and promotion (A&P) costs, both on a dollar basis. The company reported net sales of $685.1 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $615.9 million. Also, sales rose 16.7% on a year-over-year basis, buoyed by strong demand for batteries and auto across both the geographical segments. Moreover, organic sales increased 12.7% to $74.7 million in the quarter under review. Notably, the company witnessed strong consumer demand across the categories. Segments in Details
Batteries segment revenues increased 19.9% year over year to $512.8 million, while revenues in the Auto Care segment rose 6.7% to $138.9 million. Revenues in the Lights, Licensing and Other segment rose 14.8% to $33.4 million.
In the Americas, the company recorded revenues of $482 million, up 17.6% from the year-ago quarter’s figure. Revenues in the International segment amounted to $203.1 million, up 14.7% from the year-ago quarter’s levels. Margins
Energizer’s adjusted gross margin contracted 110 basis points (bps) to 40.5% owing to increased operating costs. Higher operating expenses stemmed from elevated tariffs related to source product to serve robust demand, labor, transportation and product input expense, all consistent with the inflationary trends across the global market. Further, management stated that it incurred synergies worth $14.2 million and witnessed impacts of favorable currency.
Adjusted SG&A expenses, excluding acquisition and integration costs, as a percentage of sales, amounted to 16.7%. The figure declined 170 bps from the year-ago quarter’s level of 18.4%, driven by synergy realization, greater sales and lower spending resulting partly from travel restrictions. Further, A&P, as a percentage of sales, was flat year over year at 4%. Adjusted EBITDA came in at $147.6 million, up 19.8% year over year owing to higher organic revenues and synergy realization. Other Financial Details
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $261 million, long-term debt of $3,352.2 million and shareholders' equity of $344.4 million.
Further, the company finalized the refinancing of its existing Revolver, Term Loans and Senior Notes, including $1.2 billion in Term Loans in early January. This resulted in interest decline versus the prior year of $8.1 million. Adjusted free cash flow from continuing operations was $34.9 million at the end of the reported quarter. During the quarter, the company paid out dividends worth $20.6 million on common stock and $4.1 million of mandatory preferred convertible stock. Outlook
Based on sturdy first-half performance, management updated its fiscal 2021 view. Robust demand for its brands and products coupled with better cost control helped management raise outlook for adjusted earnings per share and adjusted EBITDA.
The company began lapping the pandemic-elevated demand levels for batteries late in the reported quarter. In connection with the auto care, the company witnessed higher demand at the beginning of May. For the fiscal third and fourth quarters, management expects year-over-year fall in both the categories as it approaches greater normalized levels. For fiscal 2021, management now expects revenues to grow between 5% and 7%, driven by distribution gains, higher battery demand and favorable currency impacts. Earlier, the metric was projected to come at the higher end of 2-4%. Adjusted gross margin is expected to remain essentially flat year over year. We note that synergies and the favorable currency impacts are likely to mitigate the inflationary cost pressures and mix shifts. Further, it expects adjusted EBITDA in the bracket of $620 to $640 million for the fiscal year. It had previously guided adjusted EBITDA to come in at the higher end of $600-$630 million. Adjusted earnings per share are now envisioned to be 3.30 to $3.50 versus the earlier projection of $3.10-$3.40. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at $3.35. Management anticipates debt refinancing to contribute to a $30-million decline in the interest expense in fiscal 2021, of which $8 million realized in the fiscal second quarter. Adjusted free cash flow is now estimated to come in at the low end of its earlier guidance of $325-$350 million. The company expects inflationary headwinds over the rest of the fiscal year and into next fiscal year. Nonetheless, it will undertake actions to mitigate the impact of such headwinds via the improvement efforts and pricing actions. Better-Ranked Consumer Staples Stocks Chewy ( CHWY Quick Quote CHWY - Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 20% and currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here Albertsons Companies ( ACI Quick Quote ACI - Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12% and a Zacks Rank #2. Newell Brands ( NWL Quick Quote NWL - Free Report) , also with a Zacks Rank #2, has an average earnings surprise of 72.1% in the trailing four quarters. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything
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