Calgon Carbon’s (CCC - Free Report) profits slipped in first-quarter 2016 as it saw lower sales in the quarter, dragged down by a weaker euro and British pound sterling. The Pennsylvania-based company logged profit of $5.5 million or 11 cents per share in the reported quarter, a roughly 50.5% drop from $11.1 million or 21 cents per share recorded a year ago. Earnings per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 16 cents.
Calgon Carbon, a prominent pollution control company, along with CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE - Free Report) and Energy Recovery, Inc. (ERII - Free Report) , raked in revenues of roughly $120.2 million in the reported quarter, down around 11.4% year over year. Currency swings had a $1.1 million negative impact on sales, stemming from a mightier greenback compared to the euro and British pound. Sales also lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $126 million.
Gross margin (before depreciation and amortization) was 34.7% in the first quarter, down from 35.7% a year ago as the combination of a less favorable sales mix and higher pension expenses were partly offset by gains from an insurance settlement.
The company’s shares fell roughly 7% to close at $14.68 on Thursday, reflecting the lower-than-expected results.
Revenues from the company’s core Activated Carbon and Service segment decreased roughly 13.4% year over year to $106.2 million in the quarter. Currency headwinds resulted in $1 million lower sales. Lower potable water market sales in all geographical regions and lower environmental air market sales, caused by lower powered activated carbon sales in North America, were partly offset by higher activated carbon pellet sales in Asia.
The Equipment division’s revenues escalated around 7.5% year over year to $11.5 million. Higher sales of carbon adsorption equipment and ion exchange equipment more than offset a decline in ballast water treatment system sales in the quarter.
Sales from the Consumer segment rose 13.6% year over year to $2.5 million in the quarter, mainly backed by an increase in the sale of carbon cloth in the defense sector.
Calgon Carbon ended first-quarter 2016 with cash and cash equivalents of $50.9 million, a roughly 5.2% year-over-year increase. Long term debt was $105.2 million, up roughly 33.8% year over year.
Calgon Carbon repurchased 519,000 shares worth $8.2 million through open market operations in the first quarter. It has suspended the open market repurchase program due to its planned acquisition of the Activated Carbon and Filter Business.
The company declared a dividend of 5 cents per share, payable on Jun 15, 2016.
Moving ahead, Calgon Carbon envisions market uncertainties to continue. However, it believes that second-quarter results will be better sequentially. The company is working toward the fourth-quarter closing of its proposed acquisition of CECA’s activated carbon and filter aid business. It is also considering other growth and diversification strategies that are expected to provide positive returns from 2017.
Calgon Carbon has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
A better-ranked company in the pollution control space is Donaldson Company, Inc. (DCI - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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