- Expects record fourth quarter adjusted EPS of approximately $0.48 compared to previous fourth quarter outlook of $0.40; increase is driven primarily by improved demand conditions across all business segments and regions
- Board of Directors approves a 5 million increase in the number of shares available for share repurchase
- Employee engagement survey results reflect inclusive and engaging great place to work culture
CLEVELAND, Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Avient Corporation (NYSE: AVNT), a leading provider of specialized and sustainable material solutions, today provided estimates on its fourth quarter financial performance and other business updates. Pro forma for the acquisition of Clariant Masterbatch, the company noted sales for October and November increased 5.4% over the same months in the prior year. With the increase in sales experienced so far, the company is increasing its adjusted EPS expectation to $0.48 for the fourth quarter, which compares to its previous adjusted EPS outlook of $0.40 and prior year adjusted EPS of $0.34.
"We expect to achieve record fourth quarter adjusted EPS of approximately $0.48 as recovering demand conditions around the world exceed the traditional seasonality we normally see this time of year. Overall demand is better than we initially estimated in every region of the world, and we are capturing synergies related to our acquisition of Clariant Masterbatch," said Robert M. Patterson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Avient Corporation.
The company anticipates it will end the year with approximately $600 million in cash, which it intends to use for future bolt-on acquisitions and/or share repurchases, as pro forma net debt to EBITDA leverage is now expected to be approximately 2.8x by year-end. In December, Avient's Board of Directors approved an increase of 5 million shares available for repurchases, bringing the company's total authorization to approximately 6 million shares.
"In addition, we recently completed our first global Great Place to Work® employee engagement survey, inclusive of our newly added associates from Clariant. I am very pleased to report the initial results clearly reflect we are a great place to work," Mr. Patterson said. "This has been a multi-year journey for us that reflects the investments we have made in sustainability, advancing diversity and inclusion, and workplace flexibility."
Mr. Patterson continued, "These results also reflect the strong cultural fit between legacy PolyOne and legacy Clariant Masterbatch associates who have come together to create Avient during an otherwise incredibly challenging year. I am very proud of how we at Avient have taken care of each other and our customers as an essential supplier in the COVID-19 response and recovery effort. We remain very grateful for the work of healthcare professionals, first responders everywhere and those dedicated to helping the world combat and recover from the virus."
Avient Corporation (NYSE: AVNT), with projected 2020 pro forma revenues of approximately $3.7 billion, provides specialized and sustainable material solutions that transform customer challenges into opportunities, bringing new products to life for a better world. Examples include:
Barrier technologies that preserve the shelf-life and quality of food, beverages, medicine and other perishable goods through high-performance materials that require less plastic
Light-weighting solutions that replace heavier traditional materials like metal, glass and wood, which can improve fuel efficiency in all modes of transportation
Breakthrough technologies that minimize wastewater and improve the recyclability of materials and packaging across a spectrum of end uses
Avient employs approximately 9,100 associates and is certified ACC Responsible Care® and a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. For more information, visit www.avient.com.
In this press release, statements that are not reported financial results or other historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements give current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not guarantees of future performance. They are based on management's expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. They use words such as "will," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial condition, performance and/or sales. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by these forward-looking statements include the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on our business, results from operations, financial condition and liquidity; our ability to achieve the strategic and other objectives relating to the acquisition of Clariant's Masterbatch business, including any expected synergies; our ability to successfully integrate Clariant's Masterbatch business and achieve the expected results of the acquisition of Clariant's Masterbatch business, including, without limitation, the acquisition being accretive; disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit markets that could adversely impact the availability of credit already arranged and the availability and cost of credit in the future; the effect on foreign operations of currency fluctuations, tariffs and other political, economic and regulatory risks; changes in polymer consumption growth rates and laws and regulations regarding plastics in jurisdictions where we conduct business; changes in global industry capacity or in the rate at which anticipated changes in industry capacity come online; fluctuations in raw material prices, quality and supply, and in energy prices and supply; production outages or material costs associated with scheduled or unscheduled maintenance programs; unanticipated developments that could occur with respect to contingencies such as litigation and environmental matters; our ability to continue to pay cash dividends including at the increased rate; the amount and timing of share repurchases, if any; an inability to raise or sustain prices for products or services; an ability to achieve or delays in achieving or achievement of less than the anticipated financial benefit from initiatives related to acquisitions and integration, working capital reductions, costs reductions and employee productivity goals; information systems failures and cyberattacks; and other factors affecting our business beyond our control, including, without limitation, changes in the general economy, changes in interest rates and changes in the rate of inflation. The above list of factors is not exhaustive.
We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You are advised to consult any further disclosures we make on related subjects in our reports on Form 10-Q, 8-K and 10-K that we provide to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Company does not provide reconciliations of forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures, such as outlook for adjusted earnings per share, to the most comparable GAAP financial measures on a forward-looking basis because the Company is unable to provide a meaningful or accurate calculation or estimation of reconciling items and the information is not available without unreasonable effort. This is due to the inherent difficulty of forecasting the timing and amount of certain items, such as, but not limited to, restructuring costs, environmental remediation costs, acquisition related costs, and other non-routine costs. Each of such adjustments has not yet occurred, are out of the Company's control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted. For the same reasons, the Company is unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information.
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures (Unaudited) (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
Senior management uses comparisons of adjusted net income from continuing operations attributable to Avient shareholders and diluted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations attributable to Avient shareholders, excluding special items, to assess performance and facilitate comparability of results. Additionally, senior management reviews free cash flow, which is defined by the Company as cash flows from continuing operations less capital expenditures. Senior management believes these measures are useful to investors because they allow for comparison to Avient's performance in prior periods without the effect of items that, by their nature, tend to obscure Avient's operating results due to the potential variability across periods based on timing, frequency and magnitude. Non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered in isolation from, or solely as alternatives to, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Below is a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.
With respect to our forecasted results for full-year 2020 adjusted EPS, the Company does not provide a reconciliation of this forward-looking non-GAAP financial measure because it is not possible for the Company to provide a meaningful or accurate calculation or estimation of reconciling items and the information is not available without unreasonable effort. This is due to the inherent difficulty of forecasting the timing and amount of certain items, such as, but not limited to, restructuring costs, environmental remediation costs, acquisition-related costs, and other non-routine costs. Each of such adjustments has not yet occurred, are out of the Company's control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted. For the same reasons, the Company is unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information.
Adjusted EPS attributable to Avient common shareholders is calculated as follows:
Three Months Ended December 31, 2019
Net income from continuing operations attributable to Avient common shareholders
Special items, before tax(1)
Special items, tax adjustments(2)
Adjusted net income from continuing operations attributable to Avient common shareholders
Adjusted EPS attributable to Avient common shareholders
Special items include charges related to specific strategic initiatives or financial restructuring such as: consolidation of operations; debt extinguishment costs; costs incurred directly in relation to acquisitions or divestitures, including adjustments related to contingent consideration; employee separation costs resulting from personnel reduction programs, plant realignment costs, executive separation agreements; asset impairments; settlement gains or losses and mark-to-market adjustments associated with actuarial gains and losses on pension and other post-retirement benefit plans; environmental remediation costs, fines, penalties and related insurance recoveries related to facilities no longer owned or closed in prior years; gains and losses on the divestiture of operating businesses, joint ventures and equity investments; gains and losses on facility or property sales or disposals; results of litigation, fines or penalties, where such litigation (or action relating to the fines or penalties) arose prior to the commencement of the performance period; one-time, non- recurring items; and the effect of changes in accounting principles or other such laws or provisions affecting reported results.
Tax adjustments include the net tax benefit/(expense) from one-time income tax items, the set-up or reversal of uncertain tax position reserves and deferred income tax valuation allowance adjustments.