It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Avery Dennison (AVY). Shares have added about 3.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Avery Dennison due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
Avery Dennison Q3 Earnings Miss, Sales Top Estimates
Avery reported adjusted earnings of $1.45 per share in third-quarter 2018, which increased around 15% year over year. Earnings, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.
Including one-time items, the company's earnings surged 41% to $1.69 per share from $1.20 per share recorded in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenues jumped around 5% to $1.76 billion from $1.68 billion recorded in the year-earlier quarter. The revenue figure also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.74 billion.
Cost of sales in the quarter went up 6% year over year to $1.30 billion. Gross profit increased around 1.7% year over year to $459 million, while gross margin contracted 80 basis points (bps) to 26.1%.
Marketing, general and administrative expenses came in at $271 million compared with $274 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating profit advanced 6% year over year to $189 million. Adjusted operating margin expanded 10 bps on a year-over-year basis to 10.7%.
Revenues from the Label and Graphic Materials segment climbed around 5% year over year to $1,194 million. On an organic basis, sales grew around 6%. Adjusted operating profit declined 2.5% to $147 million from the prior-year quarter.
Revenues from the Retail Branding and Information Solutions segment went up 7% to $398 million, from $374 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. On an organic basis, sales were up 8%. The segment's adjusted operating income improved around 36% to $45 million.
The Industrial and Healthcare Materials segment reported net sales of $167 million, edging down 0.8% from $ the prior-year quarter. The segment reported adjusted operating income of $15 million compared with $14 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.
Avery Dennison had cash and cash equivalents of $218 million at the end of the third quarter, up from $232 million reported at the end of the prior-year quarter. The company generated $188 million in cash from operating activities for the nine-month period ended Sep 29, 2018, compared with $390 million recorded in the comparable period last year.
Avery Dennison's long-term debt decreased to $1,295 million as of Sep 29, 2018, compared with $1,298 million as of Sep 30, 2017.
During the reported quarter, Avery Dennison repurchased 0.7 million shares for a total cost of $72 million. Year to date, the company returned $306 million in cash to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividends, up from $221 million for the comparable period last year.
Avery Dennison realized approximately $6 million in pre-tax savings from restructuring in the Jul-Sep quarter. The company recognized a net benefit in pretax restructuring charges of $6.4 million.
U.S. Pension Plan Termination
Avery Dennison has begun the termination process of the Avery Dennison Pension Plan - a tax-qualified U.S. defined benefit plan. The company contributed $200 million to the plan during the Jul-sep quarter using commercial paper borrowings. It expects to contribute an additional estimated $30 million during 2019, to fully fund the plan and complete the transaction.
After-tax impact of actions associated with the termination will impact reported earnings per share by 50-70 cents in 2018, and an additional $4.25-$4.45 during 2019, reflecting estimated total pre-tax settlement charges in the range of $575-$600 million.
For 2018, Avery Dennison maintained its adjusted earnings per share guidance of $5.95-$6.10.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.
At this time, Avery Dennison has a subpar Growth Score of D, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Avery Dennison has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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