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Q.E.P. CO., INC. Reports Fiscal 2017 Six Month and Second Quarter Sales and Earnings

SIX MONTH SALES – $160.2 MILLION
SECOND QUARTER SALES – $80.1 MILLION

SIX MONTH NET INCOME – $4.5 MILLION
SECOND QUARTER NET INCOME – $2.3 Million

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Q.E.P. CO., INC. (OTC:QEPC.PK) (the “Company”) today reported its consolidated results of operations for the first six months and second quarter of its fiscal year ending February 28, 2017.

The Company reported net sales of $160.2 million for the six months ended August 31, 2016, an increase of $0.2 million or 0.1% from the $160.0 million reported in the same period of fiscal 2016. As a percentage of net sales, gross margin was 28.2% in the first six months of fiscal 2017 compared to 27.1% in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 were $80.1 million and reflected a gross margin of 28.1% compared to net sales of $81.7 million and a gross margin of 27.1% for the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Lewis Gould, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, commented, "In spite of the numerous headwinds and pressure on our worldwide companies, I am pleased to report additional profit and a decrease in our debt balance this year to date."

Net sales for both the six and three month periods ended August 31, 2016 as compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year reflects mixed growth across product categories, net of the impact of changes in inventory purchasing patterns of certain retail customers and the negative effects of foreign currency rate changes, particularly in the UK during the second quarter.

The Company’s gross margin as a percentage of net sales for both year-to-date and the second quarter increased compared to the prior fiscal year periods. The Company benefited from changes in the product mix and management of costs, which were offset by the negative impact of changes in foreign currency rates.

Operating expenses for the first six months and second quarter of fiscal 2017 were $37.5 million and $18.7 million, respectively, or 23.4% and 23.3% of net sales in those periods, compared to $37.4 million and $18.4 million, respectively, or 23.4% and 22.5% of net sales in the comparable fiscal 2016 periods. The relatively unchanged Operating expense trend was driven by targeted increases in US marketing programs, offset by decreased shipping costs related to customer and product mix and the favorable translation impact of foreign currency movements.

Non-operating income for the first six months and the second quarter of fiscal 2017 represents a gain on the sale of certain non-core assets of the Company.

The decrease in interest expense during fiscal 2017 as compared to fiscal 2016 is principally the result of the repayment of $5.6 million outstanding under a term loan facility in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

The provision for income taxes as a percentage of income before taxes for the first six months and second quarter of fiscal 2017 was 37.5% in each period, compared to 35.0% in each period for the comparable periods of fiscal 2016. The effective tax rate in both fiscal years reflects the relative contribution of the Company’s earnings sourced from its international operations.

Net income for the first six months and second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $4.5 million and $2.3 million, respectively, or $1.41 and $0.73, respectively, per diluted share. For the comparable periods of fiscal 2016, net income was $3.5 million and $2.2 million, respectively, or $1.08 and $0.69, respectively, per diluted share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and non-operating income for the first six months and second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $9.6 million and $4.8 million, respectively, as compared to $8.2 million and $4.8 million, respectively, for the comparable periods of fiscal 2016.

For the Three Months For the Six Months
Ended August 31, Ended August 31,
2016 2015 2016 2015
Net income$ 2,343 $ 2,220 $ 4,528 $ 3,488
Add:Interest expense, net 291 287 572 607
Provision for income taxes 1,407 1,195 2,718 1,878
Depreciation and amortization 977 1,115 1,993 2,185
Gain on sale of business (184) - (184) - .
EBITDA before non-operating income$ 4,834 $ 4,817 $ 9,627 $ 8,158

Cash provided by operations during the first six months of fiscal 2017 was $3.0 million as compared to $3.5 million in the first six months of fiscal 2016, reflecting both the increase in operating income and additional net investments in working capital. In both the current and prior year six month fiscal periods, the Company’s capital expenditures, investments and treasury stock purchases were funded through cash from operations as additional funds from operations were used, along with cash balances, to reduce debt.

Working capital at the end of the Company’s fiscal 2017 second quarter was $43.5 million compared to $38.7 million at the end of the 2016 fiscal year. Aggregate debt, net of available cash balances, at the end of the Company’s fiscal 2017 second quarter was $18.0 million or 24.7% of equity, a decrease of $2.1 million compared to $20.1 million or 29.4% of equity at the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

The Company will be hosting a conference call to discuss these results and to answer your questions at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. If you would like to join the conference call, dial 1-888-455-2311 toll free from the US or 1-719-325-2364 internationally approximately 10 minutes prior to the start time and ask for the Q.E.P. Co., Inc. Second-Quarter Conference Call / Conference ID 9856218. A replay of the conference call will be available until midnight October 18, 2016 by calling 1-844-512-2921 toll free from the US and entering pin number 9856218; internationally, please call 1-412-317-6671 using the same pin number.

Q.E.P. Co., Inc., founded in 1979, is a world class, worldwide provider of innovative, quality and value-driven flooring and industrial solutions. As a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor, QEP delivers a comprehensive line of hardwood and laminate flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring related products targeted for the professional installer as well as the do-it-yourselfer. In addition, the Company provides industrial tools with cutting edge technology to the industrial trades. Under brand names including QEP®, ROBERTS®, Capitol®, Harris®Wood, Fausfloor®, Vitrex®, Homelux®, TileRite®, PRCI®, Nupla®, HISCO®, Plasplugs®, Ludell®, Porta-Nails®, Tomecanic®, Bénètiere® and Elastiment®, the Company sells its products to home improvement retail centers, specialty distribution outlets, municipalities and industrial solution providers in 50 states and throughout the world.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding economic conditions, sales growth, profit improvements, product development and marketing, operating expenses, cost savings, cash flow, debt and currency exchange rates. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations.

-Financial Information Follows-

Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(In thousands except per share data)
(Unaudited)
For the Three Months
Ended August 31,
For the Six Months
Ended August 31,
2016 2015 2016 2015
Net sales$ 80,080 $ 81,706 $ 160,258 $ 159,973
Cost of goods sold 57,548 59,594 115,117 116,619
Gross profit 22,532 22,112 45,141 43,354
Operating expenses:
Shipping 7,025 7,106 13,682 14,416
General and administrative 6,504 6,329 12,904 12,585
Selling and marketing 5,291 5,087 11,212 10,578
Other income, net (145) (112) (291) (198)
Total operating expenses 18,675 18,410 37,507 37,381
Operating income 3,857 3,702 7,634 5,973
Non-operating expense 184 - 184 -
Interest expense, net (291) (287) (572) (607)
Income before provision for income taxes 3,750 3,415 7,246 5,366
Provision for income taxes 1,407 1,195 2,718 1,878
Net income $ 2,343 $ 2,220 $ 4,528 $ 3,488
Net income per share:
Basic$ 0.73 $ 0.69 $ 1.41 $ 1.09
Diluted$ 0.73 $ 0.69 $ 1.41 $ 1.08
Weighted average number of common
shares outstanding:
Basic 3,202 3,206 3,199 3,209
Diluted 3,215 3,228 3,217 3,231

Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
For the Three Months
Ended August 31,
For the Six Months
Ended August 31,
2016 2015 2016 2015
Net income$ 2,343 $ 2,220 $ 4,528 $ 3,488
Unrealized currency translation adjustments (361) (363) 143 (481)
Comprehensive income$ 1,982 $ 1,857 $ 4,671 $ 3,007

Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands except per share values)
August 31,
2016
(Unaudited)
February 29,
2016
ASSETS
Cash$ 13,647 $ 15,923
Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $406
and $377 as of August 31, 2016 and February 29, 2016, respectively 40,990 39,491
Inventories 43,125 42,797
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 3,013 2,234
Current assets 100,775 100,445
Property and equipment, net 18,669 19,538
Deferred income taxes, net 5,276 5,288
Intangibles, net 15,491 15,717
Other assets 371 550
Total Assets$ 140,582 $ 141,538
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Trade accounts payable $ 18,616 $ 18,432
Accrued liabilities 16,611 17,854
Income taxes payable 271 383
Lines of credit 19,737 23,093
Current maturities of notes payable 1,992 2,032
Current liabilities 57,227 61,794
Notes payable 9,945 10,899
Other long term liabilities 589 589
Total Liabilities 67,761 73,282
Preferred stock, 2,500 shares authorized, $1.00 par value; 337 shares
issued and outstanding at August 31, 2016 and February 29, 2016 337 337
Common stock, 20,000 shares authorized, $.001 par value; 3,821 and
3,802 shares issued, and 3,208 and 3,198 shares outstanding at
August 31, 2016 and February 29, 2016, respectively 4 4
Additional paid-in capital 10,766 10,737 -
Retained earnings 72,477 67,952
Treasury stock, 612 and 604 shares held at cost at August 31, 2016
and February 29, 2016, respectively (7,016) (6,884)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (3,747) (3,890)
Shareholders' Equity 72,821 68,256
Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity$ 140,582 $ 141,538

Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
For the Six Months
Ended August 31,
2016 2015
Operating activities:
Net income$ 4,528 $ 3,488
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash
provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 1,993 2,185
(Gain)/Loss on sale of business (184) -
Other non-cash adjustments 4 117
Changes in assets and liabilities, net of acquisition:
Accounts receivable (1,182) (5,093)
Inventories (94) (1,763)
Prepaid expenses and other assets (514) 591
Trade accounts payable and accrued liabilities (1,506) 3,934
Net cash provided by operating activities 3,045 3,459
Investing activities:
Proceeds from sale of property 48 344
Capital expenditures (802) (592)
Acquisitions, net of cash acquired (1,702) -
Proceeds from sale of business 850 -
Net cash used in investing activities (1,606) (248)
Financing activities:
Net (repayments) under lines of credit (2,515) (667)
Net (repayments) of notes payable (994) (6,568)
Purchase of treasury stock (60) (60)
Dividends (4) (4)
Net cash (used in) financing activities (3,573) (7,299)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash (142) (4)
Net (decrease) increase in cash (2,276) (4,092)
Cash at beginning of period 15,923 10,576
Cash at end of period$ 13,647 $ 6,484

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. Mark S. Walter Senior Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer 561-994-5550

Source:Q.E.P. Co., Inc.