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|GrafTech Reports First Quarter 2012 Results|
PARMA, Ohio, Apr 26, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE:GTI) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.
2012 First Quarter Review
Craig Shular, Chief Executive Officer of GrafTech, commented, "As previously guided, graphite electrode sales were lower largely due to customer destocking initiatives, especially in Europe where the steel market has slowed considerably in response to recessionary conditions in the region. We believe the majority of the destocking in electrodes occurred in the first quarter and will be fully complete by mid-year."
Industrial Materials Segment
The Industrial Materials segment's net sales were down 27 percent to $193 million in the first quarter 2012, as compared to $263 million in the first quarter of 2011. Revenue in the quarter decreased primarily as the result of lower sales volume, partially offset by higher average selling prices for both graphite electrodes and needle coke.
Operating income for the Industrial Materials segment was $25 million in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to $34 million in the first quarter of 2011. The decline was primarily due to lower sales volume for graphite electrodes related to the reduction in global steel production and customer inventory destocking. Positively impacting operating income was the carryover benefit of lower costs associated with higher graphite electrode utilization rates in the fourth quarter 2011, which flowed through to our results in the first quarter of 2012 contributing approximately $0.03 per share to earnings. Subsequent quarters will begin to see the impact of higher fixed cost per unit of production associated with the reduction in operating rates as well as increased raw material costs.
As previously reported and planned, we took actions in the first quarter to lower our operating rates to better align to expected customer demand and level our utilization rates throughout the year. Accordingly, we are building inventory in the first half of the year and will deplete inventory as we respond to greater customer demand expected in the second half of 2012. We expect to exit the year with modest increases in our inventory levels versus year end 2011.
Engineered Solutions Segment
Net sales for the Engineered Solutions segment increased 12 percent to $48 million in the first quarter, as compared to $43 million in the first quarter of 2011. The increase was largely driven by continued growth in our advanced consumer electronics product lines and incremental revenue associated with the acquisition of the Fiber Materials, Inc. (FMI) business. Operating income for the Engineered Solutions segment was a loss of $1 million, as compared to income of $3 million in the 2011 first quarter. The decline reflects the significant slowdown in the solar market, resulting in a less favorable product mix, and increases in our sales coverage and research and development to support future growth.
Mr. Shular commented, "As previously reported, the solar market remains very slow and is not expected to recover until 2013. However, other businesses in our Engineered Solutions segment including advanced consumer electronics, transportation and oil and gas exploration have continued to demonstrate year-over-year growth. We expect this segment to return to profitability in the second quarter."
Total company overhead expenses were approximately $43 million as compared to $35 million in the first quarter of 2011. The increase was driven by higher incentive compensation, research and development expense and the inclusion of the FMI team.
Other income was $3 million in the first quarter of 2012 versus negligible other expense in the same period of the prior year. The increase was primarily driven by insurance reimbursement for claims made related to flood damages incurred at our Clarksburg, West Virginia facility during 2011. This non-recurring item positively impacted first quarter net income by $0.02 per share.
Interest expense in the quarter was $5 million versus $4 million in the first quarter 2011. The effective income tax rate in the first quarter was 23 percent.
Based on current International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections and other economic forecasts, global GDP growth is projected to expand an average of approximately 3.5 percent in 2012, down from nearly 4.0 percent in 2011. Advanced economies are expected to continue a slow recovery with a very modest growth rate of 1.4 percent in 2012. The outlook for Europe remains particularly weak with economic activity expected to shrink 0.3 percent in the region in 2012. Growth in emerging economies is expected to slow to a more subdued growth rate of 5.7 percent. The IMF highlights that geopolitical uncertainty and the European debt crisis continue to be the largest risk factors to the strength of the global economic recovery.
Mr. Shular commented, "It's important to note that the European economy remains volatile as recessionary conditions persist. According to the World Steel Association, steel production in the European Union was down 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011."
In the second quarter of 2012, we are targeting EBITDA to be in the range of $60 million to $70 million as the impact of destocking winds down and our customers operating rates are expected to increase modestly in a seasonally stronger quarter. Negatively impacting second quarter EBITDA will be the beginning effect of higher costs associated with the step down in lower graphite electrode utilization rates in 2012. Additionally, we will conduct regularly scheduled annual maintenance at our Seadrift facility in the second quarter, which will reduce our needle coke operating rate to approximately 65 percent in the quarter.
In summary, based on IMF projections and other economic forecasts and factors described above, we expect the following targeted results in 2012:
In conjunction with this earnings release, you are invited to listen to our earnings call being held today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The call will be webcast and available at www.graftech.com, in the investor relations section. The earnings call dial-in number is 877-736-7716 for domestic and 706-501-7465 for international. A rebroadcast webcast will be available following the call, and for 30 days thereafter, at www.graftech.com, in the investor relations section. GrafTech also makes its complete financial reports that have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission available at www.graftech.com. This includes its annual report on Form 10-K for the period reported. Upon request, GrafTech will provide its stockholders with a hard copy of its complete audited financial statement, free of charge.
GrafTech International Ltd. is one of the world's largest manufacturers and providers of high quality synthetic and natural graphite and carbon based products and technical and research and development services, with customers in over 70 countries engaged in the manufacture of steel, automotive products and electronics. We manufacture graphite electrodes, products essential to the production of electric arc furnace steel and petroleum needle coke, the raw material essential to the production of graphite electrodes. We also manufacture thermal management, fuel cell and other specialty graphite and carbon products for, and provide services to, the electronics, power generation, solar, oil and gas, transportation, defense, petrochemical and other metals markets. We operate 19 manufacturing facilities strategically located on four continents. For additional information on GrafTech International Ltd., call 216-676-2000, or visit our website at www.graftech.com.
NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release and related discussions may contain forward-looking statements about such matters as: our outlook for 2012; growth prospects; the markets we serve; our profitability, cash flow, and liquidity; future sales, costs, working capital including variations in our inventory levels, revenues, and business opportunities; scheduled maintenance; future operational performance; strategic plans; stock repurchase plans; supply chain management; the impact of cost competitiveness and liquidity initiatives; changes in production capacity, operating rates or efficiency; capital expenditures; future prices and demand for our products; product quality; the impact of acquired businesses; investments and acquisitions that we may make in the future; the integration of acquisitions into our operations; financing (including factoring and supply chain financing) activities; debt levels; our customers' operations, production levels, electrode and needle coke usage, and demand for their products; our position in markets we serve; regional and global economic and industry market conditions, including third party projections and other economic forecasts and our expectations concerning their impact on us and our customers and suppliers; conditions and changes in the global financial and credit markets; tax rates and the effects of jurisdictional mix; the impact of accounting changes; depreciation and amortization expenses and currency exchange and interest rates and expenses.
We have no duty to update these statements. Our expectations and targets are not predictions of actual performance and historically our performance has deviated, often significantly, from our expectations and targets. Actual future events, circumstances, performance and trends could differ materially, positively or negatively, from those set forth in these statements due to various factors, including: the extent of any adjustments to our announced 2012 first quarter results; the actual timing of the filing of our Form 10-Q with the SEC and potential effects of delays in such filing; failure to achieve earnings or other estimates; failure to successfully develop and commercialize new or improved products; adverse changes in inventory, including raw materials and finished goods, or supply chain management; limitations or delays on capital expenditures or scheduled maintenance activities; business or operating interruptions or delays; delays or changes in or non-consummation of investments or acquisitions that we may make in the future; failure to successfully integrate into our business any completed investments and acquisitions; failure to achieve expected synergies or the performance or returns expected from any completed investments or acquisitions; inability to protect our intellectual property rights or infringement of intellectual property rights of others; changes in market prices of our securities and impact on our stock repurchase programs; changes in our ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms; adverse changes in labor relations; adverse developments in legal proceedings; non-realization of anticipated benefits from organizational changes and restructurings; negative developments relating to health, safety or environmental compliance or remediation or liabilities; downturns, production reductions or suspensions, or changes in steel and other markets we or our customers serve; political unrest which adversely impacts us or our customers' businesses; declines in demand; intensified competition and price or margin decreases, including growth by producers in developing countries; graphite electrode and needle coke manufacturing capacity increases; adverse differences between actual graphite electrode prices and spot or announced prices; consolidation of steel producers; mismatches between manufacturing capacity and demand; significant changes in our provision for income taxes and effective income tax rate; changes in the availability or cost of key inputs, including petroleum-based coke or energy; changes in interest or currency exchange rates; inflation or deflation; failure to satisfy conditions to government grants; changes in government fiscal and monetary policy; a protracted regional or global financial or economic crisis; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in our SEC filings, as well as future decisions by us. This news release does not constitute an offer or solicitation as to any securities. References to street or analyst earnings estimates mean those published by First Call.
*Non-GAAP financial measures. See attached reconciliations.
NOTE ON EBITDA RECONCILIATION: EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that GrafTech currently calculates according to the schedule above, using GAAP amounts from the Consolidated Financial Statements. GrafTech believes that EBITDA measures are generally accepted as providing useful information regarding a company's ability to incur and service debt. GrafTech also believes that EBITDA measures provide useful information about the productivity and cash generation potential of its ongoing businesses. Management uses EBITDA measures as well as other financial measures in connection with its decision-making activities. EBITDA measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income (loss), cash flows from operations or other consolidated income or cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. GrafTech's method for calculating EBITDA measures may not be comparable to methods used by other companies and is not the same as the method for calculating EBITDA measures under its senior secured revolving credit facility.
NOTE ON NET DEBT RECONCILIATION: Net debt is a non-GAAP financial measure that GrafTech calculates according to the schedule above, using GAAP amounts from the Consolidated Financial Statements. GrafTech excludes cash and cash equivalents from net debt. GrafTech believes that net debt is generally accepted as providing useful information regarding a company's indebtedness and that net debt provides meaningful information to investors to assist them to analyze leverage. Management uses net debt as well as other financial measures in connection with its decision-making activities. Net debt should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for total debt or total debt and other long-term obligations calculated in accordance with GAAP. GrafTech's method for calculating net debt may not be comparable to methods used by other companies and is not the same as the method for calculating net debt under its senior secured revolving credit facility.
SOURCE: GrafTech International Ltd.
GrafTech International Ltd.