Universal Corporation Reports First Quarter Results

Aug 06, 2015, 16:02 ET from Universal Corporation

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Revenues up 1%, to $275.4 million on higher volumes
  • Segment operating loss of $3.5 million improved by $4.1 million
  • Fiscal year lamina volumes expected to increase compared to the prior year

George C. Freeman, III, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV), reported a net loss of $5.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, which ended on June 30, 2015. Those results were down from net income of $0.7 million, or a $0.13 per diluted share loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015. Results for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 included restructuring costs of $2.4 million ($1.6 million after-tax or $0.07 per diluted share), while results for last year's first fiscal quarter included an income tax benefit of $8.0 million (or $0.34 per diluted share) arising from a subsidiary's payment of a portion of a fine following the unsuccessful appeal of a long-running court case. Excluding those items, the first fiscal quarter net loss improved by $2.9 million ($0.11 per diluted share) compared to the same period last year. Segment operating loss of $3.5 million for the quarter also improved by $4.1 million compared to the same period last year mainly as a result of earnings improvements in the North America and Other Regions segments. Revenues for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 of $275.4 million increased by $3.9 million as higher total volumes were partly offset by lower overall green prices, a less favorable product mix, and lower processing revenues.

Mr. Freeman stated, "As we enter the second year of the global leaf oversupply, we are seeing progress in moving towards more balanced markets. Production has come down in most origins. Burley tobacco supply is now balanced, while supply continues to exceed demand for certain qualities and stalk positions of flue-cured tobacco. Although global oversupply conditions have improved, based on customer shipment indications, we believe that volumes will be heavily weighted towards the second half of the fiscal year, similar to last year's trend. Given this, the first fiscal quarter's seasonally weak results were expected. However, total volumes shipped, as well as segment operating income, were higher this quarter than the comparable quarter last year.

"Crop purchases in Brazil have been progressing at a normal pace, while purchases in some African origins have started more slowly, due in part to crops delayed by weather conditions. In addition, customer orders have been coming in at a slow pace as customers evaluate the global markets. Green leaf tobacco prices have continued to decline this year, particularly in Brazil, Africa, and Europe where currency movements have reduced U.S. dollar-based prices. The lower prices in Brazil have increased demand for that above average quality flue-cured crop and conversely, may reduce demand for tobacco from other origins.

"Looking forward, we are continuing to carefully monitor crop purchases this season, and our uncommitted inventories remain well within our normal range. It is still early in the season, but customer orders and indications remain in line with our expectations, and we currently anticipate that lamina volumes for fiscal year 2016 will exceed those of the prior year, barring any unexpected logistical challenges. We also recently announced that commencing with the 2016 crop season, we are scaling down our operations in Zambia, where we have historically contracted with growers to purchase flue-cured crops but do not own processing facilities. This change is a result of continual assessment of our operations to achieve efficiencies and structures that deliver value for all stakeholders and is consistent with industry movements to reduce sourcing complexity."

FLUE-CURED AND BURLEY LEAF TOBACCO OPERATIONS:

OTHER REGIONS:

The Other Regions segment reported an operating loss of $7.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, reflecting an improvement of $2.8 million compared with the prior year's first quarter loss of $10.6 million, primarily as a result of reduced selling, general and administrative costs. Although sales volumes were up for the segment, gross margins were lower due mainly to a less favorable product mix. Selling, general and administrative costs for the segment benefited from the absence of last year's large value-added tax valuation provision as well as the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar on local currency expenses in Brazil, partially offset by unfavorable currency remeasurement comparisons, particularly in the Philippines. Sales volumes increased modestly in Africa on higher carryover crop sales in Tanzania. Volumes were also up in Asia on a reversal of the prior year's first quarter shipment timing delays. Conversely, sales volumes declined in Brazil from delays in customer shipment timing, and in Europe, on reduced volumes driven in part by changes in tax regulations affecting cigar products. Revenues for the Other Regions segment of $177.4 million were down by about 10% compared to the same period last year, on higher volumes offset by a less favorable product mix and reduced green leaf tobacco prices, including the effects of the devaluation of local currencies in South America and Europe against the U.S. dollar.

NORTH AMERICA:

Operating income for the North America segment was up $1.7 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2015, compared to last year's first quarter, on higher domestic volumes mainly as a result of shipments that were delayed into the first fiscal quarter. Selling, general, and administrative costs for the North America segment were flat. Revenues for this segment similarly increased by $16.9 million to $48.6 million on those higher volumes partly offset by a less favorable product mix.

OTHER TOBACCO OPERATIONS

The Other Tobacco Operations segment operating income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 of $0.9 million was down by $0.4 million compared with the same period last year. Results for the dark tobacco operations improved for the quarter, on higher volumes, margin improvement, and a better product mix compared with the prior year. Those results were mostly offset by losses for the special services group, primarily as a result of startup costs for the new food ingredients business, which will commence operations later this year. The oriental joint venture reported lower results for the quarter due to a less favorable product and customer mix despite reduced operating expenses. Revenues for this segment increased by about 17% to $49.4 million driven by the volume improvements in the dark tobacco business, partly offset by lower overall lamina and wrapper prices. Selling, general, and administrative costs for the segment were modestly lower compared with the prior year quarter.

OTHER ITEMS:

Cost of goods sold increased by about 5% to $227.0 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2015, compared with the same period last year, mainly attributable to the higher volumes at lower green leaf costs. Selling, general, and administrative costs for the first fiscal quarter declined by about 20% to $51.3 million on a combination of favorable comparisons to last year's accruals for value-added tax reserves and benefits from a stronger dollar on local currency costs in Brazil and Europe, net of foreign currency remeasurement and exchange losses in the current fiscal period compared with gains in the prior year, largely in the Africa and Asia regions.

Interest expense of $3.9 million for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 was down about 3% due to the absence of interest paid in the same period last year for the European Commission fine, partly offset by slightly higher average interest rates this year.

The consolidated income tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 was 36%, which is comparable to the U.S. federal statutory rate of 35%. Income taxes for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 were impacted by a non-recurring benefit of $8.0 million arising from the partial payment of the European Commission fine by our Italian subsidiary. Excluding that item, the consolidated income tax rate for last year's first fiscal quarter was approximately 35%.

Additional information

Amounts included in the previous discussion are attributable to Universal Corporation and exclude earnings related to non-controlling interests in subsidiaries. In addition, the total for segment operating income (loss) referred to in this discussion is a non-GAAP measure. This measure is not a financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered as a substitute for net income, operating income, cash from operating activities or any other operating performance measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, and it may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. A reconciliation of the total for segment operating income (loss) to consolidated operating income (loss) is in Note 3. Segment Information, included in this earnings release. The Company evaluates its segment performance excluding certain significant charges or credits. The Company believes this measure, which excludes these items that it believes are not indicative of its core operating results, provides investors with important information that is useful in understanding its business results and trends.

This information includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions readers that any statements contained herein regarding earnings and expectations for its performance are forward-looking statements based upon management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, including anticipated levels of demand for and supply of its products and services; costs incurred in providing these products and services; timing of shipments to customers; changes in market structure; government regulation; product taxation; industry consolidation and evolution; and general economic, political, market, and weather conditions. Actual results, therefore, could vary from those expected. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, and in other documents the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This information should be read in conjunction with the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

At 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 6, 2015, the Company will host a conference call to discuss these results. Those wishing to listen to the call may do so by visiting www.universalcorp.com  at that time. A replay of the webcast will be available at that site through November 4, 2015. A taped replay of the call will be available through August 19, 2015, by dialing (855) 859-2056. The confirmation number to access the replay is 95972066.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Universal Corporation is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier and conducts business in more than 30 countries. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, were $2.3 billion. For more information on Universal Corporation, visit its website at www.universalcorp.com.

 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(in thousands of dollars, except per share data)

Three Months Ended June 30,

2015

2014

(Unaudited)

Sales and other operating revenues

$

275,419

$

271,472

Costs and expenses

Cost of goods sold

227,030

215,932

Selling, general and administrative expenses

51,296

63,777

Restructuring costs

2,389

--

Operating income (loss)

(5,296)

(8,237)

Equity in pretax earnings (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates

(616)

601

Interest income

239

143

Interest expense

3,884

4,020

Income (loss) before income taxes

(9,557)

(11,513)

Income tax expense (benefit)

(3,432)

(12,038)

Net income (loss)

(6,125)

525

Less: net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries

178

192

Net income (loss) attributable to Universal Corporation

(5,947)

717

Dividends on Universal Corporation convertible perpetual preferred stock

(3,687)

(3,712)

Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders

$

(9,634)

$

(2,995)

Earnings (loss) per share attributable to Universal Corporation common shareholders:

 Basic

$

(0.43)

$

(0.13)

 Diluted

$

(0.43)

$

(0.13)

See accompanying notes.

 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands of dollars)

June 30,

June 30,

March 31,

2015

2014

2015

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

ASSETS

Current assets

Cash and cash equivalents

$

130,439

$

148,457

$

248,783

Accounts receivable, net

257,349

238,900

434,362

Advances to suppliers, net

58,041

77,273

114,883

Accounts receivable--unconsolidated affiliates

65,821

82,196

1,907

Inventories--at lower of cost or market:

Tobacco

921,920

1,047,613

636,488

Other

69,851

83,484

62,195

Prepaid income taxes

28,828

30,688

17,811

Deferred income taxes

35,296

20,431

36,611

Other current assets

72,898

78,186

81,570

Total current assets

1,640,443

1,807,228

1,634,610

Property, plant and equipment

Land

16,853

17,239

16,790

Buildings

239,218

241,909

238,372

Machinery and equipment

590,470

574,178

576,010

846,541

833,326

831,172

Less: accumulated depreciation

(534,461)

(528,596)

(525,783)

312,080

304,730

305,389

Other assets

Goodwill and other intangibles

99,120

99,429

99,146

Investments in unconsolidated affiliates

78,450

94,802

76,512

Deferred income taxes

8,414

18,616

6,301

Other noncurrent assets

74,221

76,599

76,515

260,205

289,446

258,474

Total assets

$

2,212,728

$

2,401,404

$

2,198,473

See accompanying notes.

 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands of dollars)

June 30,

June 30,

March 31,

2015

2014

2015

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities

Notes payable and overdrafts

$

86,553

$

205,370

$

59,862

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

171,963

198,085

140,112

Accounts payable--unconsolidated affiliates

4,650

42

3,281

Customer advances and deposits

4,328

61,147

30,183

Accrued compensation

24,597

26,213

28,232

Income taxes payable

6,934

12,072

9,243

Current portion of long-term obligations

--

117,500

--

Total current liabilities

299,025

620,429

270,913

Long-term obligations

370,000

235,000

370,000

Pensions and other postretirement benefits

95,985

82,759

97,048

Other long-term liabilities

34,091

36,279

36,790

Deferred income taxes

29,785

36,346

26,628

Total liabilities

828,886

1,010,813

801,379

Shareholders' equity

Universal Corporation:

Preferred stock:

Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock, no par value, 500,000 shares authorized, none issued or outstanding

--

--

--

Series B 6.75% Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock, no par value, 220,000 shares authorized, 218,490 shares issued and outstanding (219,999 at June 30, 2014, and 218,490 at March 31, 2015)

211,562

213,023

211,562

Common stock, no par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized, 22,668,025 shares issued and outstanding (23,169,976 at June 30, 2014, and 22,593,266 at March 31, 2015)

206,018

206,538

206,002

Retained earnings

998,560

972,068

1,020,155

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(66,403)

(33,752)

(74,994)

Total Universal Corporation shareholders' equity

1,349,737

1,357,877

1,362,725

Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries

34,105

32,714

34,369

Total shareholders' equity

1,383,842

1,390,591

1,397,094

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

2,212,728

$

2,401,404

$

2,198,473

See accompanying notes.

 

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands of dollars)

Three Months Ended June 30,

2015

2014

(Unaudited)

CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:

Net income (loss)

$

(6,125)

$

525

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash used by operating activities:

 Depreciation

9,145

8,653

 Amortization

223

409

 Net provision (recoveries) for losses on advances and guaranteed loans to suppliers

(2,037)

(516)

 Foreign currency remeasurement loss (gain), net

2,806

(1,283)

 Restructuring and impairment costs

2,389

--

Other, net

8,457

(4,395)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net

(129,793)

(118,286)

     Net cash used by operating activities

(114,935)

(114,893)

CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

(14,900)

(16,808)

Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment

613

393

Net cash used by investing activities

(14,287)

(16,415)

CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:

Issuance (repayment) of short-term debt, net

26,306

142,489

Repayment of long-term obligations

--

(3,750)

Issuance of common stock

--

187

Repurchase of common stock

--

(7,202)

Dividends paid on convertible perpetual preferred stock

(3,687)

(3,712)

Dividends paid on common stock

(11,749)

(11,844)

Net cash provided by financing activities

10,870

116,168

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash

8

65

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

(118,344)

(15,075)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

248,783

163,532

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

130,439

$

148,457

See accompanying notes.

 

NOTE 1. BASIS OF PRESENTATION

Universal Corporation, with its subsidiaries ("Universal" or the "Company"), is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier. Because of the seasonal nature of the Company's business, the results of operations for any fiscal quarter will not necessarily be indicative of results to be expected for other quarters or a full fiscal year. All adjustments necessary to state fairly the results for the period have been included and were of a normal recurring nature. Certain amounts in prior year statements have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

NOTE 2. EARNINGS PER SHARE

The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted earnings per share:

Three Months Ended June 30,

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

2015

2014

Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share

Numerator for basic earnings (loss) per share

Net income (loss) attributable to Universal Corporation

$

(5,947)

$

717

Less: Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock

(3,687)

(3,712)

Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders for calculation of basic earnings (loss) per share

(9,634)

(2,995)

 Denominator for basic earnings (loss) per share

 Weighted average shares outstanding

22,622,930

23,223,343

 Basic earnings (loss) per share

$

(0.43)

$

(0.13)

Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share

Numerator for diluted earnings (loss) per share

 Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders

$

(9,634)

$

(2,995)

 Add: Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock (if conversion assumed)

--

--

 Earnings (loss) available to Universal Corporation common shareholders for calculation of diluted earnings (loss) per share

(9,634)

(2,995)

Denominator for diluted earnings (loss) per share

Weighted average shares outstanding

22,622,930

23,223,343

Effect of dilutive securities (if conversion or exercise assumed)

Convertible perpetual preferred stock

--

--

Employee share-based awards

--

--

Denominator for diluted earnings (loss) per share

22,622,930

23,223,343

Diluted earnings (loss) per share

$

(0.43)

$

(0.13)

 

NOTE 3. SEGMENT INFORMATION

The principal approach used by management to evaluate the Company's performance is by geographic region, although the dark air-cured and oriental tobacco businesses are each evaluated on the basis of their worldwide operations. The Company evaluates the performance of its segments based on operating income after allocated overhead expenses (excluding significant non-recurring charges or credits), plus equity in the pretax earnings of unconsolidated affiliates.

Operating results for the Company's reportable segments for each period presented in the consolidated statements of income were as follows:

Three Months Ended June 30,

(in thousands of dollars)

2015

2014

SALES AND OTHER OPERATING REVENUES

Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:

  North America

$

48,572

$

31,698

  Other regions (1)

177,401

197,572

    Subtotal

225,973

229,270

Other tobacco operations (2)

49,446

42,202

Consolidated sales and other operating revenues

$

275,419

$

271,472

OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)

Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:

  North America

$

3,416

$

1,679

  Other regions (1)

(7,847)

(10,575)

    Subtotal

(4,431)

(8,896)

Other tobacco operations (2)

908

1,260

Segment operating income (loss)

(3,523)

(7,636)

  Deduct: Equity in pretax loss (earnings) of unconsolidated affiliates (3)

616

(601)

Restructuring and impairment costs (4)

(2,389)

--

Consolidated operating income (loss)

$

(5,296)

$

(8,237)

(1) 

Includes South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia regions, as well as inter-region eliminations.

(2) 

Includes Dark Air-Cured, Special Services, and Oriental, as well as inter-company eliminations. Sales and other operating revenues for this reportable segment include limited amounts for Oriental because its financial results consist principally of equity in the pretax earnings of an unconsolidated affiliate.

(3) 

Equity in pretax (earnings) loss of unconsolidated affiliates is included in segment operating income (loss)(Other Tobacco Operations segment), but is reported below consolidated operating income (loss) and excluded from that total in the consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income.

(4) 

Restructuring and impairment costs are excluded from segment operating income (loss), but are included in consolidated operating income (loss) in the consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income.

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