SUSSEX, Wis. - Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) (“Quad/Graphics” or the “Company”) today reported preliminary results for the year ending December 31, 2015. The reported results are both preliminary and unaudited, and may be adjusted as a result of, among other things, completion of customary financial close review and audit procedures.
“We are pleased with our operating performance in the fourth quarter resulting from improvements in manufacturing productivity and strong cost management,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer. “Our team was able to react quickly to increased pricing and volume pressure, and incrementally reduce our cost structure by $100 million on a run rate basis for 2016. This quick cost action allowed us to deliver stronger than expected results in the quarter and better position the Company for success in 2016. These activities required the complete coordination and dedication of our entire organization, and I want to thank all of our employees for their hard work and strong execution. As we move forward, we will continue to find new and creative ways to adapt to and evolve with changing industry conditions to meet our goal of being the industry’s high-quality and low-cost producer.”
The Company expects preliminary Net Sales for full-year 2015 to be approximately $4.65 billion and Adjusted EBITDA to be at least $460 million, representing an approximate 10% Adjusted EBITDA margin. The preliminary full-year Adjusted EBITDA results are at least $10 million greater than the high end of the previous guidance range of $430 million to $450 million, primarily as a result of cost productivity improvements and earlier than expected impacts from the Company’s previously announced $100 million cost reduction program.
Preliminary Free Cash Flow is expected to be approximately $210 million for full-year 2015, and is $30 million greater than the high end of the previous guidance range of $165 million to $180 million. Free Cash Flow increased $56 million or 36% over the prior year due to sustainable improvements in the cash conversion process primarily impacting working capital. The Company also expects the Debt Leverage Ratio to be below 3.0x at December 31, 2015, as compared to 3.09x at September 30, 2015, due to the stronger Free Cash Flow which was utilized to reduce debt levels during the fourth quarter.
The Company provided the following 2016 preliminary financial guidance:
- Net Sales of $4.4 billion to $4.6 billion.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $420 million to $460 million.
- Adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 10% at the midpoint of guidance and flat with the expected 2015 margin.
- Free Cash Flow of $190 million to $230 million, flat with 2015 at the $210 millionmidpoint of guidance.
Dave Honan, Quad/Graphics Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, concluded: “We believe Quad/Graphics will continue to be a significant Free Cash Flow generator into the future and, because of permanent improvements to our cost structure and working capital levels, our preliminary financial guidance for 2016 demonstrates our ability to deliver a sustainable level of Free Cash Flow. Our strong cash flow and disciplined capital deployment strategy provides us the ability to continue maintaining a strong balance sheet, including further deleveraging the balance sheet through debt and pension liability reductions, while continuing to invest strategically in our business and return cash to our shareholders through our dividend, representing only 30% of our annual Free Cash Flow.”
Management will provide detailed audited financial statements and will discuss final 2015 financial results and 2016 financial guidance as part of its regular quarterly conference call on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
Quarterly Conference Call
Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. ET / 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, February 23. The call will be hosted by Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, and Dave Honan, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. The full earnings release and slide presentation will be concurrently available on the Investors section of Quad/Graphics’ website at http://investors.qg.com.
Participants can pre-register for the webcast by navigating to http://dpregister.com/10078532. Participants will be given a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call on February 23, bypassing the live operator. Participants may pre-register at any time, including up to and after the call start time.
Alternatively, participants without internet access may dial in on the day of the call as follows:
• U.S. Toll-Free: 1-877-328-5508
• International Toll: 1-412-317-5424
Telephone playback will be available following the conference call and will be accessible as follows:
• U.S. Toll-Free: 1-877-344-7529
• International Toll: 1-412-317-0088