Quad/Graphics Earnings Decline 33% In Q4, Sales Down 6%
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Press release from the issuing company
Generated $215 million in Free Cash Flow for 2015 and Confirms 2016 Guidance
Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Highlights:
SUSSEX, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 22, 2016-- Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) (“Quad/Graphics” or the “Company”), today reported fourth quarter and full-year 2015 results.
“We are pleased to report that our fourth quarter 2015 results were better than we expected following our focused efforts to aggressively manage costs and improve manufacturing productivity,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud of our team which took swift action to offset increased pricing and volume pressures that had accelerated in the second half of 2015. We were able to incrementally reduce our cost structure by $100 million on a run rate basis for 2016 – ahead of schedule – while driving increased productivity. Further, as a result of our efforts, we surpassed our expectations for Free Cash Flow, which is the foundation of our strong balance sheet and sustainable dividend.”
Quadracci added: “The global economic climate remains in flux. Therefore, we will build on our cost control momentum with aggressive, innovative cost management and improved labor productivity in support of our goal to hold the line on Adjusted EBITDA margins, and generate strong Free Cash Flow that supports value-creating opportunities. As always, we remain committed to being the industry’s high-quality, low-cost producer while delivering an exceptional client experience.”
Net sales for the fourth quarter 2015 were $1.3 billion, down 6% from the same period in 2014. Fourth quarter 2015 Adjusted EBITDA was $154 million compared to $183 million for the same period in 2014, and Adjusted EBITDA margin was 11.5% compared to 12.8%. The decline on the top-line and Adjusted EBITDA margin variance primarily reflects the impacts of ongoing pricing and volume pressures.
For full-year 2015, net sales were $4.7 billion versus net sales of $4.9 billion for the previous year. Full-year 2015 Adjusted EBITDA was $462 million compared to $543 million for fiscal 2014, and Adjusted EBITDA margin was 9.9% compared to 11.2% for the previous year. Full-year 2015 Free Cash Flow was $215 million compared to $154 million for the previous year. Free Cash Flow increased $61 million or 40% over the prior year due to sustainable reductions in ongoing working capital needs.
“Quad/Graphics continues to be a significant Free Cash Flow generator, which is important to maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet that supports our disciplined capital deployment strategy,” said Dave Honan, Quad/Graphics Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. “Our strong Free Cash Flow in the fourth quarter enabled us to reduce debt and improve our yearend Debt Leverage Ratio to 2.92x, reduced from 3.09x at September 30, 2015. In addition, the significant Free Cash Flow allows the Company to maintain an affordable and sustainable annual dividend of $1.20 per share, representing less than 30% of Free Cash Flow.”
Quad/Graphics confirmed its previously announced 2016 guidance, originally released on January 6, 2016, as follows:
Honan concluded: “We expect 2016 Adjusted EBITDA margin to be approximately 10% at the midpoint of our guidance, which is essentially flat with the 2015 Adjusted EBITDA margin. Our ongoing efforts to implement permanent improvements to Quad/Graphics’ cost structure and working capital levels will give us the ability to sustain the strong Free Cash Flow we generated in 2015 into the foreseeable future.”
Quad/Graphics’ next quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share will be payable on March 18, 2016, to shareholders of record as of March 7, 2016.
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