Armstrong World (AWI) Q2 Earnings Miss, Shares Down 11.7%

Armstrong World Industries, Inc.’s AWI shares dropped nearly 12% on Jul 28, after it reported disappointing second-quarter 2020 results. Earnings and revenues missed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, as well as declined year over year.

Vic Grizzle, president and CEO of Armstrong World said, “We are seeing sequential improvement in the quarter and are focused on a future that will demand safer interior environments in schools, offices, healthcare facilities and other spaces.”

The company announced the acquisition of a Chicago-based commercial interiors design house and maker of custom felt ceiling and wall solutions — Turf Design, Inc. Notably, the acquisition will strengthen design and manufacturing capabilities, and broaden its extensive portfolio of architectural specialties ceiling as well as wall solutions.

Earnings & Revenues Discussion

Armstrong World reported adjusted earnings of 75 cents per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents by 17.6% and declined 40.6% from $1.27 a year ago.

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Quote

Net sales of $203.2 million also lagged the consensus mark of $220 million by 7.5% and fell 25.3% year over year. The decline was mainly due to lower volumes in both Mineral Fiber and Architectural Specialties segments due to COVID-19-induced lower market demand. Also, unfavorable Mineral Fiber AUV, driven by regional weakness in major metropolitan areas impacted by COVID-19, added to the woes.

Operational Update

Gross margin during the quarter came in at 33.4%, which contracted 460 basis points from the year-ago period. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of net sales, increased a whopping 250 bps year over year to 16.2%.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 36.3% from the prior-year quarter to $69 million, primarily due to lower volumes, partially offset by reduced SG&A expenses and improved manufacturing productivity.

Segmental Performance

Mineral Fiber: The segment’s sales were down 26.2% on a year-over-year basis to $157.9 million due to lower volume and unfavorable AUV.

Operating income also decreased 42.6% from the prior-year quarter, attributable to lower volumes, WAVE earnings and unfavorable AUV, partially offset by improved manufacturing productivity, higher Transition Service Agreement cost reimbursements, along with a reduction in incentive compensation expenses. Adjusted EBITDA also declined 34.8% from the prior-year quarter to $62 million.

Architectural Specialties: Net sales in the segment slid 21.8% year over year to $45.3 million due to lower demand across almost all product categories and geographies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The segment’s operating profit and adjusted EBITDA decreased 54.7% and 47.9% from the year-ago level, respectively. The downside mainly stemmed from lower sales volume and additional amortization expense related to acquisitions made in 2019.


As of Jun 30, 2020, Armstrong World had cash and cash equivalents of $117.1 million compared with $45.3 million at 2019-end. Net cash provided by operations was $78.7 million in past six months compared with $47 million in the comparable prior-year period.

The company’s free cash flow (on an adjusted basis) was $63 million compared with $55 million in the year-ago quarter.

Its board of directors authorized the buyback of additional shares of $500 million within the existing repurchase program and extended the term until 2023.

2020 Outlook

Considering sequential market improvement and no second wave of market shutdown, the company expects sales to be down 10-18% and adjusted EBITDA margins to be more than 35% for 2020. It anticipates generating a free cash flow margin of 22-25% this year.

Zacks Rank

Armstrong World — which shares space with TopBuild Corp. BLD, Owens Corning OC and Masco Corporation MAS — currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2019, while the S&P 500 gained an impressive +53.6%, five of our strategies returned +65.8%, +97.1%, +118.0%, +175.7% and even +186.7%.

This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2019, while the S&P averaged +6.0% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +54.7% per year.

See their latest picks free >>

Click to get this free report

Masco Corporation (MAS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Owens Corning Inc (OC): Free Stock Analysis Report

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (AWI): Free Stock Analysis Report

TopBuild Corp. (BLD): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

Learn More