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Lawson Products Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 Results

Average Daily Sales Rise 5.4%

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 23, 2017-- Lawson Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAWS) (“Lawson” or the "Company"), a distributor of products and services to the MRO marketplace, today announced results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016.

"Our business improved as 2016 came to a close. Fourth quarter average daily sales increased 5.4% from a year ago and also grew over the immediately preceding quarter. We are seeing evidence in our sales results that we are beginning to grow our way out of the previous downward cycle of the MRO marketplace. It appears the economic headwinds we have faced have begun to subside," said Michael DeCata, president and chief executive officer.

"The steps we have taken to build a stronger foundation for Lawson over the past few years are starting to yield positive results. We expanded our sales rep team to more than 1,000 at year end. Our efforts to continually improve operations at our state-of- the-art McCook facility provided us the opportunity to further streamline our distribution network while maintaining the high service levels that Lawson customers know and trust. In addition, we successfully completed and integrated three small acquisitions during 2016.

Our strong financial position has provided us with the flexibility to grow both organically and through acquisitions. We are continuing to support our growing sales team with the training and tools they need to succeed in a competitive landscape. Recognizing that we continually strive for improvement, I believe that our recent sales growth will continue," concluded Mr. DeCata.

Highlights

  • Average daily sales increased 5.4% to $1.122 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $1.065 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased 3.6% to $67.3 million from $65.0 million a year ago, with one less selling day in the quarter. Gross profit was 60.2%, unchanged from the fourth quarter a year ago.
  • We recorded GAAP operating loss of $5.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 driven heavily by stock-based compensation and severance expense compared to an operating loss of $3.0 million a year ago. Excluding these items, adjusted non-GAAP operating income increased $0.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 2015 (see reconciliation in Table 1).
  • The year ended with $10.4 million of available cash and $35.0 million of availability on our revolving credit facility. In the quarter we renegotiated our credit facility to expand available credit, extend maturity date and reduce fees.

Fourth Quarter Results

Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2016 increased 3.6% to $67.3 million on 60 selling days versus $65.0 million on 61 selling days for the same period a year ago. Average daily sales were $1.122 million in the recent quarter compared with $1.065 million a year earlier. Fourth quarter sales benefited from growth in our Strategic, Kent Automotive and Government accounts as well as $0.8 million contribution from 2016 acquisitions. Additionally, our sales per rep per day increased 2.3% sequentially over the third quarter of 2016, reflecting the ongoing development of our sales team. For the year, sales grew 0.3% on the strength of fourth quarter.

Gross profit percentage remained unchanged at 60.2% in the fourth quarter of both 2016 and 2015. Improvements in warehouse labor costs were offset by higher net freight expense and one fewer selling day in the 2016 quarter to leverage fixed costs. Product margin remained relatively flat for the quarter.

Selling expenses increased $1.9 million compared to a year ago primarily as a result of increased costs associated with the expansion of our sales force and additional compensation on higher sales. As a percent of sales, selling expenses increased to 34.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 33.1% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

General and administrative expenses were $22.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $19.6 million in the prior year quarter. This $2.6 million increase was primarily due to $2.1 million of higher stock-based compensation, primarily driven by the increase in our stock price, and $1.4 million of higher severance expenses primarily related to the announced closure of the Fairfield, New Jersey distribution center. Excluding stock-based compensation and severance expenses, general and administrative costs decreased $1.0 million compared to the prior year quarter (see reconciliation in Table 2), primarily due to lower depreciation expense and our continued cost control efforts.

GAAP operating loss was $5.0 million compared to a $3.0 million loss a year ago. However, excluding the previously mentioned stock-based compensation and severance expenses, fourth quarter adjusted non-GAAP operating income improved $0.5 million, to $0.4 million compared to an adjusted operating loss of $0.1 million a year ago (see reconciliation in Table 1).

Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $4.6 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $3.7 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago. The net loss in the 2016 quarter was negatively impacted by the stock-based compensation and severance expenses totaling $5.5 million or $0.62 per diluted share.

During the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company generated $3.2 million of cash from operating activities and ended 2016 with $10.4 million of available cash and equivalents. At year-end, there was $0.8 million outstanding on the revolving credit facility.

"We are optimistic heading into 2017. We intend to expand our sales force, improve sales rep productivity, and actively pursue accretive acquisition opportunities. Lawson’s growth efforts, combined with our continually improving operating efficiency, allows us to enter 2017 well-positioned to take advantage of the improving macro-economic environment,” concluded Mr. DeCata.

Conference Call

Lawson Products, Inc., will conduct a conference call with investors to discuss fourth quarter 2016 results at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on February 23, 2017. The conference call is available by direct dial at 1-866-932-0173 in the U.S. or 1-785-424-1630 from outside of the U.S.; conference ID: 223017. A replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after completion of the call through March 31, 2017. Callers can access the replay by dialing 1-877-481-4010 in the U.S. or 1-919-882-2331 outside the U.S. The PIN access number for the replay is 10174#. A streaming audio of the call and an archived replay will also be available on the Investor Relations page of Lawson's website through March 31, 2017.

About Lawson Products, Inc.

Founded in 1952, Lawson Products (NASDAQ: LAWS) is an industrial distributor of maintenance and repair products. Lawson carries a comprehensive line of products and provides inventory management services to the industrial, commercial, institutional and government maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market. With strategically located distribution centers in North America, Lawson ships to customers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Under its Kent Automotive brand, the Company supplies products to collision and mechanical repair shops as well as automotive OEMs. For additional information, please visit www.lawsonproducts.com or www.kent-automotive.com.

This Release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. The terms "may," "should," "could," "anticipate," "believe," "continues," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "objective," "plan," "potential," "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. These statements are based on management's current expectations, intentions or beliefs and are subject to a number of factors, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause or contribute to such differences or that might otherwise impact the business and include the risk factors set forth in Item 1A of the December 31, 2016, Form 10-K filed on February 23, 2017. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any such factor or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

-TABLES FOLLOW-

 
Lawson Products, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
 
  Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
2016   2015 2016   2015
 
Net sales $ 67,315 $ 64,961 $ 276,573 $ 275,834
Cost of goods sold 26,811   25,870   108,511   106,710  
Gross profit 40,504   39,091   168,062   169,124  
 
Operating expenses:
Selling expenses 23,383 21,503 92,908 90,093
General & administrative expenses 22,165   19,642   76,611   75,979  
Total SG&A 45,548 41,145 169,519 166,072
Other operating expenses, net   931     931  
Operating expenses 45,548   42,076   169,519   167,003  
 
Operating (loss) income (5,044 ) (2,985 ) (1,457 ) 2,121
 
Interest expense (10 ) (357 ) (496 ) (766 )
Other (expenses) benefits, net (17 ) 7   422   (203 )
 
Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes (5,071 ) (3,335 ) (1,531 ) 1,152
Income tax (benefit) expense (428 ) 353   98   855  
 
Net (loss) income $ (4,643 ) $ (3,688 ) $ (1,629 ) $ 297  
 
Basic and diluted (loss) income per share of common stock $ (0.53 ) $ (0.42 ) $ (0.19 ) $ 0.03  
 
Lawson Products, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Dollars in thousands, except unaudited share data)
(Unaudited)
 
  December 31,   December 31,
2016 2015
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 10,421 $ 10,765
Restricted cash 800 800
Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts 30,200 27,231
Inventories, net 42,561 44,095
Miscellaneous receivables and prepaid expenses 3,788   3,667  
Total current assets 87,770 86,558
 
Property, plant and equipment, net 30,907 35,487
Cash value of life insurance 10,051 10,245
Goodwill 5,520 319
Deferred income taxes 20 51
Other assets 1,039   434  
Total assets $ 135,307   $ 133,094  
 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Revolving line of credit $ 841 $ 925
Accounts payable 11,307 9,370
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 27,289   26,048  
Total current liabilities 39,437 36,343
 
Security bonus plan 14,216 14,641
Financing lease obligation 7,543 8,539
Deferred compensation 4,830 4,626
Deferred rent liability 3,676 3,912
Other liabilities 4,472   3,769  
Total liabilities 74,174   71,830  
 
Stockholders’ equity:
Preferred stock, $1 par value:
Authorized - 500,000 shares, issued and outstanding — None
Common stock, $1 par value:
Authorized - 35,000,000 shares
Issued – 8,864,929 and 8,796,264 shares, respectively
Outstanding – 8,832,623 and 8,771,120 shares, respectively 8,865 8,796
Capital in excess of par value 11,055 9,877
Retained earnings 41,943 43,572
Treasury stock – 32,306 and 25,144 shares held, respectively (691 ) (515 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (39 ) (466 )
Total stockholders’ equity 61,133   61,264  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 135,307   $ 133,094  
 
LAWSON PRODUCTS, INC.
REGULATION G GAAP RECONCILIATIONS
 

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, the Company's management believes that certain non-GAAP financial measures may provide users of this financial information with additional meaningful comparisons between current results and results in prior operating periods. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures can provide additional meaningful reflection of underlying trends of the business because they provide a comparison of historical information that excludes certain infrequently occurring, seasonal or non-operational items that impact the overall comparability. See Tables 1 and 2 below for supplemental financial data and corresponding reconciliations to GAAP financial measures for the three months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. Non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, the Company's reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP.

 
TABLE 1 - RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO ADJUSTED NON-GAAP OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
   
Three Months Ended
December 31,
2016 2015
 
Operating income (loss), as reported per GAAP $ (5,044 ) $ (2,985 )
 
Stock-based compensation (1) 3,801 1,693
Severance expense 1,662 280
Environmental reserve (2)   931  
Adjusted non-GAAP operating Income (loss) $ 419   $ (81 )
(1)   Expense for stock-based compensation, of which a portion varies with the Company's stock price
(2) Amount recorded in the three months ended December 31, 2015 relate to estimated future remediation of an environmental matter at the Decatur, Alabama property
 
TABLE 2 - RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO ADJUSTED NON-GAAP G&A EXPENSE
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
   
Three Months Ended
December 31,
2016 2015
 
G&A expenses, as reported per GAAP $ 22,165 $ 19,642
 
Stock-based compensation (1) (3,801 ) (1,693 )
Severance expense (1,662 ) (280 )
Adjusted non-GAAP G&A expenses $ 16,702   $ 17,669  
(1)   Expense for stock-based compensation, of which a portion varies with the Company's stock price
 
LAWSON PRODUCTS, INC.
TABLE 3 - QUARTERLY RESULTS (UNAUDITED)
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Three Months Ended
Dec. 31,   Sep. 30,   Jun. 30,   Mar. 31,   Dec. 31,
2016 2016 2016 2016 2015
 
Number of business days 60 64 64 64 61
 
Average daily net sales $ 1,122 $ 1,097 $ 1,084 $ 1,089 $ 1,065
Sequential quarter increase (decrease) 2.3 % 1.2 % (0.5 )% 2.3 % (3.0 )%
 
Average active sales rep count (1) 1,007 1,007 981 949 931
Period-end active sales rep count 1,009 1,006 1,020 960 937
 
Sales per rep per day $ 1.114 $ 1.089 $ 1.105 $ 1.148 $ 1.144
Sequential quarter increase (decrease) 2.3 % (1.4 )% (3.7 )% 0.3 % (4.4 )%
 
Net sales $ 67,315 $ 70,199 $ 69,348 $ 69,711 $ 64,961
Gross profit 40,504 42,573 42,526 42,459 39,091
 
Gross profit percentage 60.2 % 60.6 % 61.3 % 60.9 % 60.2 %
 

Operating expenses

Selling, general & administrative expenses $ 45,548 $ 40,184 $ 42,497 $ 41,290 $ 41,145
Other operating expenses (2)        

931

 

45,548   40,184   42,497   41,290   42,076  
 
Operating income (loss) $ (5,044 ) $ 2,389   $ 29   $ 1,169   $ (2,985 )
(1)   Average active sales representative count represents the average of the month-end sales representative counts
(2) The three months ended December 31, 2015 includes $0.9 million related to estimated future remediation of an environmental matter at the Decatur, Alabama property
 

Source: Lawson Products, Inc.

Lawson Products, Inc.
Investor Relations:
Lawson Products, Inc.
Ronald J. Knutson
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
773-304-5665