Badger Meter, Inc. BMI reported unimpressive second-quarter 2020 results, with net earnings and revenues falling year over year. The stock declined 5.1% in response to the results, closing at $61.66 on Jul 16.
Quarterly net earnings for the reported quarter were $9.5 million or 33 cents per share compared with $11.4 million or 39 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year deterioration in the bottom line can be primarily attributed to lower revenues. Also, the bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.
Badger Meter, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Quarterly net sales declined to $91.1 million from $103.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The 12% revenue contraction was primarily due to lower demand stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the company witnessed a favorable mix of high-end products and services along with higher BEACON service revenues. The top line lagged the consensus mark of $100 million.
Municipal water sales fell 9%, mainly due to widespread lockdown in the United States due to the coronavirus outbreak. To add to that, backlog volumes surged due to supply chain challenges, manufacturing disruptions and employee absenteeism. However, the company continued to witness higher demand for new technology products and solutions like ORION Cellular LTE-M radios and ultrasonic meter technology. Flow instrumentation declined 22% due to sluggish demand for industrial products across various industrial end markets, particularly due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Gross profit was $35.9 million, down 11% from $40.3 million in the year-earlier quarter. However, gross margin was 39.3%, up 40 basis points (bps) year over year. The upside was primarily driven by favorable sales mix and cost-reduction initiatives with price cost dynamics. Operating earnings were $12.7 million or 13.9% of sales compared with respective tallies of $15 million and 14.5% in the year-earlier quarter.
Selling, engineering and administration expenses came in at $23.2 million compared with $25.2 million in the prior-year quarter. The decline was primarily due to cost-reduction actions. However, it was partially offset by business optimization investments.
Cash Flow & Liquidity
During the first six months of fiscal 2020, Badger Meter generated $52.3 million of net cash from operations compared with $40.9 million in the prior-year quarter, driven by strong earnings conversion. Free cash flow came in at $20.1 million compared with $20.8 million in the prior-year quarter. With a stable free cash flow, the company’s performance was backed by an effective working capital management. As of Jun 30, the company had $85.2 million in cash and equivalents with $4.5 million of short-term debt.
Despite the slowdown of overall activity in end markets amid COVID-19 pandemic, Badger Meter continues to remain optimistic related to its near-term outlook. With macroeconomic conditions stabilizing gradually, the Milwaukee, WI-based controls products manufacturer has undertaken several temporary cost-saving initiatives to mitigate the impact of declining sales on profitability. Consequently, this helped the company to ensure smooth functioning of business operations. Some of these initiatives include reduced work hour furloughs and executive salary reductions. Moreover, with discretionary spend controls, Badger Meter continues to deliver critical products and services to customers during this hour of crisis.
Badger Meter is well positioned to emerge from this unprecedented calamity owing to robust liquidity position and strong bid pipeline. Impressively, the company has been conducting Rapid Response Team meetings to monitor customer feedback and logistics with response to dynamic government recommendations. For additional financial flexibility, the company has $125 million under revolving credit facility to fund capital allocation priorities. Customer demand is anticipated to be the crux of product and technology roadmap, with competitive share and positioning. The company is focused on launching new products in 2020. Continued R&D investments and probable tuck-in M&A opportunities with inventory planning capabilities are likely to provide potential opportunities in the future.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Badger Meter currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are PerkinElmer, Inc. PKI, CyberOptics Corporation CYBE and Bruker Corporation BRKR. While PerkinElmer sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CyberOptics and Bruker carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
PerkinElmer’s bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate thrice in the last four quarters. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 12.2%, on average.
CyberOptics’ bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate thrice in the last four quarters. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 116.2%, on average.
Bruker has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12%.
Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation
Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity.
A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time.
See 8 breakthrough stocks now>>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Badger Meter, Inc. (BMI): Free Stock Analysis Report
PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI): Free Stock Analysis Report
Bruker Corporation (BRKR): Free Stock Analysis Report
CyberOptics Corporation (CYBE): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com 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.