On Mar 21, 2013, we downgraded our recommendation on leading
designer and developer of glass products, services, and systems,
Apogee Enterprises Inc.
) from Outperform to Neutral, driven by Apogee's focus on
increasing its exposure both domestically and internationally,
strong backlog in the architectural segment and the
non-residential construction market, offset by concerns regarding
weak performance in the Large-Scale Optical segment and
Why the Downgrade?
The architectural segment returned to profitability in the
fiscal second quarter of 2013 and reached record levels in the
third quarter, driven by higher pricing of architectural glass
and increased margins in the installation businesses. The
segment's backlog reached its highest level in 13 quarters at
$300 million, which bodes well for its future performance.
Apogee recently extended its secured revolving credit facility
by five years to Oct 2017 and expanded it to $100 million from
$80 million. The expanded credit facility, along with Apogee's
strong balance sheet and improving free cash flow position will
enable it invest both domestically and internationally.
The company intends to add new capacities as well as to fund
acquisitions. Focus on operational improvements, expansion in new
geographies and markets, new product launches will fuel Apogee's
revenue growth going forward.
Apogee has faced challenging commercial construction market
conditions so far. However, the U.S. construction is finally
stabilizing and is on the road to a much-awaited recovery. The
American Institute of Architects projects a 5% increase in
spending in 2013 for non-residential construction project and
7.2% for 2014. This bodes well for Apogee's going ahead.
However, macroeconomic conditions might be a headwind for
Apogee's performance in fiscal 2013. Moderating global economic
growth and uncertainty in the global economic scenario can limit
Apogee's near-term revenue visibility.
The Large-Scale Optical segment witnessed a 5% decline in
sales and lower year-over-year profits. The third quarter is
seasonally the segment's strongest quarter. Results were impacted
by timing of customer promotions and Sandy.
The Large-Scale Optical Technologies' sales are highly
dependent on a small number of customers. Consequently, loss of a
significant customer or a significant reduction in pricing or a
shift to a less favorable mix of value-added picture framing
glass products for one of those customers could materially reduce
the segment's sales and operating results.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apogee Enterprises currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other stocks in the same industrial products sector with
favorable Zacks ranks are
Valmont Industries, Inc.
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Worthington Industries, Inc.
), which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
APOGEE ENTRPRS (APOG): Free Stock Analysis
KAYDON CORP (KDN): Free Stock Analysis Report
VALMONT INDS (VMI): Free Stock Analysis
WORTHINGTON IND (WOR): Free Stock Analysis
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