Over 152 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Leggett Reports Record Second Quarter 05 Sales & Earnings

Furniture World News on

-Second quarter EPS of $.41, up 5.1% over 2Q 2004. -Record second quarter sales of $1.31 billion, a 2.5% increase over 2Q 2004. -At quarter’s end, $71 million of cash on hand; net debt-to-cap at 24.3%. -2005 EPS guidance is $1.55 - $1.65, on 3% - 5% sales growth. -3Q 2005 guidance: EPS of $.42 - $.47, on sales of $1.34 - 1.39 billion. Fortune 500 diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt reported earnings of $.41 per diluted share, in line with guidance issued on April 21. Per share earnings increased 5.1%, or $.02, compared to the $.39 attained in the second quarter of the prior year. Sales of $1.31 billion were $32 million, or 2.5%, higher than in the second quarter 2004. Same location sales increased 1.9% versus the same quarter last year, and acquisitions contributed $7 million (net of divestitures) toward the quarter’s sales growth. For the quarter, inflation more than offset a slight decline in unit volume. 2Q 2005: Record Results Felix E. Wright, Chairman and CEO said, “Sales and EPS were the highest we’ve ever attained for the second quarter of any year. Earnings were within our guidance, but sales were slightly below the range we originally forecasted. Net margin posted both sequential and year-over-year improvement. “Several of our markets exhibited strength, but some showed a bit of demand weakness. We continue to see growth in upholstered furniture components and aluminum die cast components. Domestic bedding components volume declined year-over-year, but improved sequentially, and showed less decline (versus the prior year) than we saw in the first quarter. We expect to see significant promotional activity by bedding retailers during the third quarter. “Last September we told investors that excess cash flow would go toward either acquisitions or share repurchases. Consistent with that strategy, we were strong buyers of our stock during the quarter, purchasing 1.8 million shares. These purchases were partially offset by issuance of shares through employee plans. As a result, common stock outstanding declined by 1.4 million shares during the quarter, and was 3.1 million shares, or 1.6%, below the level of one year ago. “During the quarter we spent $44 million on acquisitions, $49 million to repurchase stock, and $44 million on capital projects. These initiatives were funded by cash from operations and an increase in net debt. As explained last September, over a three year period we intend to gradually increase leverage. We are aiming for a net debt-to-cap target range of 30% - 40%, and ended the quarter with net debt-to-cap at 24.3%. “We continue to be optimistic about the future, and expect to post record sales and earnings for 2005.” Acquisitions and Divestitures During the quarter the company completed three acquisitions that will add about $48 million to annual sales. The largest of these involved Leggett’s purchase of assets from a manufacturer of rubber and felt carpet underlay, and should contribute approximately $41 million in annual sales to the Residential Furnishings segment. The company also divested two small operations that previously generated annual revenue of about $5 million. Leggett is encouraged about the acquisition opportunities it is currently seeing. The acquisition database continues to expand, and the quality and economic health of potential candidates seems to be improving. Leggett continues to target annual sales growth of 10% - 15%, and believes that acquisitions alone should contribute 6% - 9% annual sales growth in future years. 2005 Full Year Outlook: Guidance narrowed to $1.55-$1.65 EPS The company’s earnings guidance for the full year 2005 has been narrowed to $1.55-$1.65 per share (from the previous range of $1.50 - $1.70). The company anticipates full year 2005 total sales growth of 3% - 5%, with same location sales posting about half of the growth, and acquisitions contributing the balance. Two issues – reduced selling prices (versus those assumed in January guidance) in certain product categories, and some customers’ choice to offset inflation by switching to less expensive components – have contributed to reduced organic growth expectations for the year. Same location sales growth was 8% in the first quarter, and 2% in the second quarter. For the second half of the year same location sales are expected to be roughly identical to the prior year. 3Q 2005: $0.42-0.47 EPS For the third quarter, Leggett anticipates trade sales of $1.34-1.39 billion. This forecast incorporates sequential improvement (versus the second quarter) of: a) $10 to $60 million organic growth, consistent with the company’s typical seasonal pattern of sales, and b) about $20 million of incremental revenue from acquisitions. At this sales level, same location sales would be essentially unchanged from 3Q 2004. Based on this sales forecast, the company anticipates earnings of $.42-$.47 per share for the third quarter. LIFO / FIFO All of Leggett’s reporting segments employ the first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory method. Last year, segment EBIT margins benefited from the FIFO method’s requirements for handling rising commodity costs. This year, the same FIFO accounting method, combined with recent reductions in steel costs, is resulting in lower segment margins in comparison to last year. At the corporate level, Leggett uses the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method for determining the cost of approximately half of the company’s inventories. A consolidated adjustment (i.e. not within the segments) is made to convert the appropriate operations to the LIFO inventory method. Commodity price decreases (e.g. steel) have resulted in estimated LIFO income for the full year 2005 of approximately $40 million. This compares to a LIFO expense of $77 million in 2004. For comparison, over the five prior years (1999-2003), the largest annual LIFO expense was just over $4 million. The company’s policy is to allocate estimated full year LIFO income or expense proportionally to each quarter. Accordingly, earnings for the second quarter reflect LIFO income of $20 million; in contrast, there was a LIFO expense of $24 million in 2Q 2004. The company currently anticipates LIFO income of $10 million in both the third and fourth quarters; however, the actual amount of income will fluctuate with commodity prices and inventory levels. SEGMENT RESULTS – Second Quarter 2005 (versus 2Q 2004) Residential Furnishings – Total sales increased $18 million, or 3%, with acquisitions (net of divestitures) contributing $3 million of the increase. Inflation alone enhanced revenue by over 3%, but that incremental revenue generated only modest income. Unit sales decreased about 2%, with increased unit sales of mechanisms (for upholstered furniture) more than offset by declines in other areas, including U.S. innerspring unit sales. EBIT (earnings before interest and income taxes) was $48.2 million, a decrease of $22.9 million, or 32%. The EBIT decrease was attributable to absence of last year’s FIFO benefit, changes in product mix, reduced unit sales, and higher chemical costs (which impact foam operations). Commercial Fixturing and Components – Total sales increased $16 million, or 6%, with acquisitions contributing $3 million of the increase. Same location sales increased 5%, with unit volumes contributing 2% of the growth. EBIT declined by $2.5 million, or 14%, with gains from higher sales and cost savings more than offset by unfavorable product mix, higher resin costs (which impact the plastics operations), the impact of currency, and other items. For the full year, the company expects approximately a 100 basis point improvement in the Commercial segment EBIT margin. This improvement is smaller than previously anticipated, reflecting year-to- date results, changing product mix, and higher than anticipated commodity, plant closure, and new operation start up costs. Aluminum Products – Total sales increased $8 million, or 5%, solely from increased same location sales. Inflation added about 2% to sales, and unit volumes were up over 3%. EBIT decreased 18%, or $2.6 million, with increases from higher sales more than offset by higher energy costs and production inefficiencies at some plants. The company continues to target a 10% annual EBIT margin for this segment, and believes that consolidation of one underperforming facility will contribute to future margin improvement. Industrial Materials – Total sales increased $3 million, or 2%. Unit volume declined about 8%, but was more than offset by inflation. Decline in volume is attributable to: a) two industrial products customers’ movement of some manufacturing overseas, b) reduced demand from auto manufacturers, and c) absence of last year’s billet sales to trade customers. The $12.9 million, or 37%, EBIT decrease resulted primarily from lower unit volume and absence of last year’s FIFO benefit. Specialized Products – Total sales decreased $4 million, or 3%. Same location sales decreased 3%, with a 6% unit decline partially offset by the effect of currency rates. EBIT declined $4.0 million, or 25%, due to lower unit sales in both the automotive and machinery businesses, and currency impacts. COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) is a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in virtually every home, office, retail store, and automobile. The company serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a “Who’s Who” of U.S. manufacturers and retailers. The 122-year-old firm is composed of 29 business units, 33,000 employee-partners, and more than 300 facilities located in over 20 countries. Leggett possesses the second-best Fortune 500 dividend growth record (96-fold growth via 34 consecutive annual increases at greater than 14% CAGR), has grown sales and earnings at a 15% annual average since going public in 1967, consistently posts top half performance among the Fortune 500, and sets a high standard for quality of earnings. Leggett & Platt is North America’s leading independent manufacturer of the following: a) components for residential furniture and bedding; b) retail store fixtures and point of purchase displays; c) components for office furniture; d) non-automotive aluminum die castings; e) drawn steel wire; f) automotive seat support and lumbar systems; g) carpet underlay; h) adjustable beds; and i) bedding industry machinery for wire forming, sewing and quilting. Primary raw materials include steel and aluminum. Main operations include metal stamping, forming, casting, machining, coating, welding, wire drawing, and assembly.

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers